Being from a low-income and minority-based community I have always been aware of the opportunity gap that persists and causes many limitations for students like me. As a product of a failing community and education system, I remember being in high school and dreaming of making it out. I knew at a young age that education was power, and I was determined to use it to not only build a better life for myself, but to also make change. Furthering my education was necessary and I knew college was essential.
When the time came, applying for college was very discouraging and daunting. I was a first-generation college student, so there were so many things that my family and I weren’t prepared for. The financial aspect of college was the biggest obstacle. Whether or not I would attend college was heavily dependent on if it would be a financially sound decision. I fell in love with IU, and I wanted nothing more but to spend my four years of undergrad here. I remember exploring all of IU’s scholarship opportunities in depth, and then I came across the Cox Scholars Program.
I applied on a whim and I never thought I’d actually get the scholarship. But nevertheless, applying for the scholarship was the best decision I ever made! Receiving the Cox Scholarship alleviated all of my worries of financial need and has allowed me to focus my energy on pursuing an educational experience that has been truly rewarding.
One of the great opportunities that comes with the Cox Scholarship is a work placement. As a Cox Legacy Scholar, I have been able to gain many development skills through my work at the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. There, I got to use my perspective as a student to help develop a collaborative undergraduate research program around the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. In the upcoming year I will be working with the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society, and I could not be more grateful and excited for the opportunity.
I’m most appreciative of the support system I’ve gained from the program. The Director of the program, Ben Agan, works to not only connect us with more opportunities, but also constantly reminds us that we are all truly special and if we need anything, we can always rely on him for support. Each Cox Scholar gets to interact closely with our program coordinators who aims to help us reach our goals and ensure our success. This has given me the confidence to go for more opportunities, and it pushes me to challenge myself for growth.
I’m especially thankful for the value that the program has placed on me, my story, and my education. This has enabled me to pursue a career as a civil rights attorney working towards social justice in specific areas that relate to systematic racism in our society. I hope to be a part of re-imagining our education and criminal justice system and I’m grateful that this scholarship program has made my path to do this so much easier.
Thanks to the generosity of Jessie and Beulah Cox, the program works to change so many lives of students. I’m so thankful that I get to call myself a Cox Scholar, and I hope that I can carry on the legacy of Jessie Cox in all that I do!