How did you earn The Congressional Award?
VPS: I volunteered for more than 400 hours at the Greensboro Urban Ministry, collecting food for the homeless and hungry in my community. Through my high school club that I founded, Girls for a Change, my club members and I collected more than 15,000 pounds of food by hosting food drives at our local grocery store and delivering close-to–expired bakery items from grocery stores to the Greensboro Urban Ministry and shelters for battered women. I also led my club members to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House, baking treats and cooking meals for the residents. I volunteered at Brenner Children’s Hospital, helping families with children who had cancer.
PD: I practiced my violin for thirty minutes a day so I could be a better violinist in the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra.
PF: I played outdoor soccer in fall and spring and indoor soccer in winter. I am passionate about soccer, which I have played since kindergarten. In addition, I worked out at the gym to increase my stamina for soccer season.
EXP: I earned my Exploration/Expedition hours by planning and taking a two-week trip to China, the highlight being climbing The Great Wall.
Through working towards my many goals, I learned a lot about self-discipline and perseverance, and I am extremely honored to be a Congressional Award Gold Medal recipient.
What are your current ambitions?
Currently, I am a sophomore Morehead-Cain Scholar and Buckley Public Service Scholar, majoring in Business and minoring in Public Policy and Spanish, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel-Hill. This summer I was awarded a scholarship to study abroad at the London School of Economics, funded by the Moorhead-Cain Foundation and the Kenan-Flagler Business School. I will also be traveling overseas to research gender equity in the workforce in several countries with the lowest and highest rates of gender equity in the workforce. When I am not in class, I enjoy preparing for and competing in national case competitions, attending club meetings where I have various leadership roles and volunteering in the community.
After graduating, I hope to gain a couple years of real-world experience working in the financial services industry. I plan on going to graduate school to complete a master’s degree in business or law.
I also hope to continue empowering women and helping those in need through civic engagement and philanthropy. With my passion for service, leadership and teamwork paired with the valuable experiences and knowledge that I will continue to gain in college and in my future career, I am committed to making a positive impact in my college, community, country and the world.
Where do you find your motivation?
The challenges I faced during my childhood when my mother had cancer has made me more empathetic towards others facing adversity. The kindness of others during our time of need made all the difference in our lives and my passion now revolves around giving back to my community, by being a servant leader who strives to lead by example to better the lives of others. My greatest hope is that I can continue helping others who are going through difficult times.
Being a strong advocate for women’s rights and issues, I am motivated to empower girls and teach them about acceptance, individuality, feminism, stereotypes, discrimination and the importance of women in STEM professions, while also helping women in need in my community.
The quote that inspires me everyday is “Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weaknesses, but. to discover our strengths.” I look at obstacles and challenges as a way to develop as a person, daughter. leader, friend, and student. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek and Grit by Angela Duckworth are two books that motivate me to be the best version of myself.