Hometown: McMinnville, Oregon

Major: Business Administration, with a minor in Arabic Studies

Why did you choose UO? My older sister graduated from UO, and convinced me that I'd experience everything I would want from college if I became a Duck. The University also has a renowned business program, which just so happens to be my major academic focus. With my interest in the Middle East, it also didn't hurt that UO as an Arabic language program!

How are your scholarships helping you? Coming into my freshman year at UO, I was selected to become part of the PathwayOregon program due to financial need and an impressive academic record, which took away the cost of university tuition for four academic calendar years. Knowing that most college students graduate with thousands of dollars of debt, I looked toward other options to pay for my experience here, rather than using hefty loans. After an application and interview process, I was selected to join the Housing student staff and become a Resident Assistant (RA), specifically the Academic Residential Community Assistant for the Community of Ecological Leaders. Now, because the RA position waves room and board fees, I am going through my sophomore year only having to pay out of pocket for textbooks and the Dough Co.

What is your favorite thing about UO? I would say that my favorite thing about UO is the diverse student body and all of the events that go on here during the year. It is difficult to stay bored, especially being a student staff member living on campus and having a wide network of connections, each with their own programs and events. I see myself as a unique individual, always going against the status quo. Being surrounded by diverse individuals makes it easy to express my true self without worrying about feeling judged and provides enough opportunities to expand and grow as a person and as a member of such an awesome community.

What advice do you have for scholarship applicants? The best piece of advice I have to offer is to focus on your academic success but also build a strong relationship with surrounding communities, whether that is through clubs, community outreach, or any other way to positively impact others. It’s important to look more attractive for scholarships through academic success, but being able to show you sincerely care for others goes a long way—not only when applying for scholarships but also when going through life.

How did you choose your major? I am majoring in Business Administration, and minoring in Arabic Studies. I believe that a business degree is extremely versatile, and applicable to most any career path. The plan, if everything falls into place, is to join the Peace Corps after graduation, and hopefully help strengthen a community overseas in the Middle East for two years. Studying a language that is so different from English while focusing on completing the business major has been extremely challenging, but I know that with enough determination and effort, the outcome will be well worth the time spent staring blankly at a textbook I can barely read.

What is your greatest achievement at the UO, so far? My greatest achievement at the UO so far would have to be when I was accepted to become an RA. Having the opportunity to live where I lead, and connect with so many students has made me feel at home living on campus. It is rewarding to be able to help new students transition into their college careers and link them to resources at the University that can ultimately effect their academic interests and their lifelong career goals.

What do you think distinguishes you as a scholar? Was there a specific experience while you were in high school that helped you shine? I think what sets me apart from others is my dedication to creating strong relationships with the people I interact with and the curse of constantly craving new knowledge. Because of my passion to strive for new information, I have been able to excel in an extremely wide variety of classes and activities, each time coming away with useful knowledge that is applicable in and outside of the classroom. In high school, I was involved in all kinds of clubs, worked after school to gain experience in the workplace, and made an effort to create a connection with as many of my peers as possible. I also took as many classes that offered college credits as I could fit into my busy schedule during high school, which was one of the smartest things I could have done. Without having to worry about certain general education requirements at the University because I had completed them during high school, I was able to start college by putting more focus on classes that pertained to my major.

What special attribute do you bring to UO? I bring a unique mentality to the University. I cannot stand being  “normal,” so I push myself to stay strange. By regularly asking the question, “When was the first time you did something for the first time?” I am challenged to try something new every day and never get used to a normal daily schedule. I also bring the chance for students to explore their options at a University that offers an endless amount of opportunity while learning more about myself in the process. I can walk away from the UO knowing that I had an influence on at least one student’s lifelong aspirations, whether they recognize it or not.