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Jopwell's College Giveaway Recipients Share Their Experiences

Estimated reading time ~ 5 min

Our community has been disproportionately affected due to COVID-19. The Center for Disease Control and Protection reported that Black people accounted for 34% of confirmed cases with known race/ethnicity compared to 13% of the total population. This is in part because of several factors including, working in essential businesses, lack paid sick leave or access to health insurance, and have underlying medical conditions among factors.

In response to the pandemic, our team decided to launch a nationwide College Giveaway Fund to support our members. Through the College Giveaway Fund, we were able to provide a small financial boost to ten students across the United States, from Arkansas and Minnesota to Atlanta and our home, New York City.

After speaking with our College Giveaway Fund recipients, we learned that they are inspired by these events to enter fields that will directly serve their community. We wanted to share a few of their stories.

Jopwell is currently running an HBCU College Giveaway Fund, to apply and see details, click here.

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Driving force: I am passionate about politics, and I currently serve in the College Chapter of Women for Political Change and our Student Government Association. I hold an intensive passion for change-making, these extracurriculars are not what I am just limited to! I am a proud member of the Latinx Student Association (¡Presente!) here on campus to promote cultural awareness and Latinx visibility.

One goal after graduation: Continue my education! I hope to be part of the Rhode and Truman Scholars community, and eventually attend Law School shortly after. I envision myself to be a Human Rights Attorney, an author, and a researcher.

College experience: As a first-generation, low-income Latina. However, despite institutions not being originally built for students like me, I was determined to create visibility and space for myself. It hasn’t been an easy journey throughout these three years, but I am proud to have been a key figure in constructing institutional changes that lessen the disapparites between students of color and academia.

COVID experience: Transitioning to online is something I was not prepared for, as many support-based services are still in the process of adapting.

Post-COVID highlight: Hugging my four year old cousin. He’s growing up so fast!

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Driving force: When I was in a local tech program as a teen that gave me exposure to Python and web programming and that’s how programming “clicked” with me.

One goal after graduation: Most of my work recently has involved not only making programs but learning to make programs using algorithms and design patterns that best fit the requirements given.

College experience: Howard University does a good of supporting students in their education, careers, and network building. I’ve been able to take advantage of the various events happening around campus to develop my skills.

COVID experience: I didn’t have an internship set up and was considering taking summer classes. During this time I have focused on starting personal projects to improve my coding and keep my resume updated, while also completing courses on Udemy.

Post-COVID highlight: I’m looking forward to being on campus again. I miss the library, talking with classmates, and simply walking on campus. Having this indepence is the whole reason I went out of state for school so I’ll be glad to return when things are better.

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Driving force: I am passionate about helping people and understanding the world around us. I chose my major, Information Technology & Informatics, because it allows me to explore the relationship between people and technology.

One goal after graduation: Use the skills I developed through my studies in a career in the technology industry. Preferably, I would love to work as a front-end developer or data analyst.

College experience: Through college, I further discovered who I am as a person and the things that I value. Most importantly, I got to meet different people from different backgrounds that I have befriended.

COVID experience: I have begun to think about jobs where I can apply my IT and Statistics skills in the healthcare industry. Ultimately, I will be paying more attention to the kinds of industry that help people directly.

Post-COVID highlight: This situation has made me realize just how much I cherish friendship and the interactions I would have with other students in my courses.

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Driving force: I am a junior at Boston College majoring in Sociology. As a black woman from a low-income neighborhood, I really wanted to learn about my own social position and about those around me. Choosing this major was a chance for me to learn about things that are relevant to my life and to the people I want to help someday.

One goal after graduation: I am hoping to have gained a position where I can make a positive impact through my work. Whether it is direct or indirect does not matter as much as whether people are helped in some way!

College experience: Transitioning to college work at first was very difficult for me as a first-generation student. However, over the years BC has become my home. Being able to explore relevant and prominent issues has made going to class my chance to learn more about the world we live in. The connections I have made and the things I have learned have and will continue to shape the woman I become.

COVID experience: COVID has shown me that things can change very quickly and how I desire to have a career where I know other people are benefitting.

Post-COVID highlight: I am looking forward to my senior year! This is the year where I plan to integrate myself for the first year ever into clubs at school as I had not done in the past.

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Driving force: I was first introduced to Computer Science when I was in the fourth grade by Mrs. Murrel, my math teacher. Initially she took an interest in me because I always stayed after playing math games on the computers and asking questions about them. I’m studying Computer Science and Cyber Security. Outside of the classroom I am a member of the Hampton University Marching Force and of the National Society of Black Engineers, among other things.

One goal after graduation: I hope to grow as a strong Black woman in the tech world and inspire others to do the same. My ultimate goal would be to start a nonprofit for young Black individuals in tech and start my own cyber security firm.

College experience: I was the first in my family to leave the state for college, but Hampton University has provided a welcoming environment with endless opportunities. The Computer Science Department works hard to ensure that students are prepared for technical interviews, which has put me in the position to receive opportunities. As part of the Marching Force, I traveled outside of the country for the first time to play for the Pope in Rome, Italy for New Years.

COVID experience: My schooling and my internship is now virtual, and I will be missing out on the full experience but hopefully I still come out with a lot learned.

Post-COVID highlight: Going back to my regular schedule with school.

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