I am an undergraduate student at American University pursuing a BA in Political Science and an MS in Data Science through the Combined Master’s Program. As a part of the School of Public Affairs Leadership Program, I have completed a research project on the environmental effects of chemicals and created a website alongside a team of five other students; this website provides resources for sustainable cooking and cleaning, emphasizing the importance of sustainability during the COVID-19 pandemic. This semester, I am researching the effects of marijuana on the adolescent mind and body and subsequently, the most effective methods of in-school drug prevention programs. In the upcoming months, I will implement a social action project based on my research in the form of an updated drug prevention curriculum at my old high school, which is detailed below.
As a member of the Lincoln Scholars Program, I have been reading and analyzing the works of the greatest political theorists, classic and modern, and engaging in philosophical discussion with my peers. I am also in the American University Chamber Choir, practicing social action through music in the performance of works like Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard.
At Middletown High School North in my hometown, Middletown New Jersey, I participated in numerous organizations to help better myself and my community. During the summer before my senior year, I was a member of a campaign for the midterm elections of my township committee. I attended monthly meetings for the Middletown Democrats and canvassed on Saturday mornings. Although our campaign did not win, we closed the margins significantly from the previous election and raised awareness of our organization. Furthermore, as president of an organization called Bottlecappers, I traveled to elementary and middle schools in my district to teach my younger peers the dangers of substance abuse and bullying. Abstaining from drugs and alcohol is very important to me and I wish to educate all young people of the consequences of substance use regarding their personal health as well as environmental effects.
During my senior year, my district’s Board of Education decided that any student in an Advanced Placement class who did not take the test would receive an honors weight for that class in their GPA, instead of AP weight. Since each test costs approximately $94, I believed that this policy was essentially forcing students to pay for a certain grade. I was especially confused because our school had many low-income families. Therefore, I spoke in front of my Board of Education and argued in opposition of their socioeconomic discrimination.