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Activity/Favorite Musical artists/Significant Challenge/ Summer/ Favorite event; STANFORD

adatiger96 4 / 7 1  
Dec 30, 2013   #1
Stanford - Describe an activity:
The same way you hold a dollar bill to the light to verify its authenticity, I hold the causes I support against the question "So what?" For STAND (Students Together Advocating Non-violence and Diversity), the answer is simple: "because educating the school on diversity issues is essential" and "because being a voice for marginalized groups is imperative." STAND has taught me to always question the impact of a cause in order to legitimately support it. I'm part of STAND because I can change my school's culture through meaningful dialogue about issues that impact neglected groups. In STAND, I mediate hot-topic lunch discussions about diversity and socio-economic divides. Recently, I planned a homeless immersion program for students to gain perspective on poverty in my community. Overall, STAND has given me the platform for social justice and empowered me with the best tool: the ability to legitimize a cause.

Name favorite books, authors, films, musical artists:
Maya Angelou, The Group by Mary McCarthy, Destiny's Child, Anti-Racist Reflections from an Angry White Male by Tim Wise, The Wedding Date, Alanis Morissette, India.Arie, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Sarah Kay, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Series

What is the most significant challenges that society faces today?
Finding respectful and ethical ways to eliminate cultural practices that are promoting gender inequity, hindering girls from attending school and taking away the human rights of all people.

How did you spend your last two summers?
For the last two summers, I worked as an intern for the Public Utility Commissioner's 2012 Campaign and for a 2013 City Council member's campaign . I attended the Presbyterian Youth Triennium in Indiana as part of the production and planning team. The occasional pick up volleyball game or tennis match with friends.

What were your most favorite events this past year?
I went to a luncheon with Former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, where he talked about current challenges facing the region. Also, I hosted a screening of the documentary, "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" at my school.

What historical moment or event do you wish you could have witnessed?
Howard University president, Mordecai Johnson's lecture about Gandhi's philosophy on social reform. I'd be sitting next to Martin Luther King, as he realized he could fight for the rights of blacks without guns or lies but with nonviolent resistance.

What five words best describe you?
Charismatic, Ambitious, Bold, Honest, Idealistic

Letter to Roommate:
You know the quiet types who love reading Tolstoy for fun? Always locked away in a room, lost deep in a book, probably Walden, contemplating ice as an interesting subject? I hate to disappoint you but that isn't me. I'm the girl you'll never find reading Tolstoy for fun. In fact you might not find me at all. I'd rather spend my free time ingesting all Stanford has to offer outside of our dorm. I'd love for you to join me!

That said, if you'd prefer to experience Stanford with Tolstoy instead, some of the places, other than the library, where you'll find me are:

Any of the cultural houses: Maybe its from growing up in a Nigerian household, but I can't imagine living without hearing native languages and smelling foreign spices. You can expect I'll be at Ujamaa for a discussion about "Blacks in Politics" or at Casa Zapata to share in creativity and poetry readings.

What Matters to Me and Why presentations: I think its vital to reflect on your motivations, aspirations and spiritual growth to understand the values you hold closest. Thats why I'll jump at the chance to hear personal accounts of failures and successes.

Frosh Council: While I haven't been elected yet, you can bet that I'll find away to influence the campus. Whether that's tying myself to a tree or simply planning the Freshman Formal.

The offer still stands! Let me know if you want to come along!

What idea or experience had been important to your intellectual development.
"Its not just happening here, its happening all around the world." As Anderson Cooper appealed to those watching, he caught my attention. He went on to say that third world dilemmas are the whole world's dilemma. Anderson Cooper made think globally, outside of what was familiar.

I saw an article about gender inequality, a topic Anderson Cooper was talking about the night before. I opened the article, shocked to read that young girls weren't allowed to go to school.

Analyzing multiple sources further revealed the injustices women worldwide were facing. If only people knew to rebuild broken communities and devastated economies, investing in girl's equality was the answer. To directly impact these young girls lives, I gave a presentation to my local rotary club. I shared what had manifested from my research, specifically focusing on the significance of education, economic empowerment and ending gender-based violence.

Somewhere between Anderson Cooper's nightly pleas and my presentation, my intellectual curiosity sprung. I saw how relevant my findings were, not just for girls half way across the world but, for people with the upper hand in this global dilemma, who weren't suffering from gender inequities. My intellectual vitality is excited when I see the global impact I have because of my expertise. My curiosity to know what goes on in the world has expanded my horizons, allowing me to one's issues as my own, think critically, ask questions, and thus use my knowledge to further contribute solutions to the world's problems.

What matters to you and why?

When Nigerians gather at each other's homes, voices are raised and stories are sprinkled with exclamations such as "Chi-ne-ke!", "O-jo-we-o!", and "Eh-ya!" And I, who haven't understood but a few words, can nod in agreement and say, "Yes! Our life stories are indeed praiseworthy!" Growing up American with Nigerian parents, I've been privileged to learn the stories important to two continents. As a kid, my parents read books such as Off to the Sweet Shores of Africa: and Other Talking Drum Rhymes, which created a vivid picture of Africa.

Stories made a part of my culture accessible. I could travel to Nigeria through the stories I heard. I learned that girls like me, ebony skin and kinky hair which never held pony tails, existed. Stories matter. Many stories matter. I looked past Nigeria's single story of flora and fauna and saw Nigeria as a multitude of people, with the capacity for good, bad, and all levels of complexity in between.

Even though I've lived most of my life on a suburban cul-de-sac, culturally diverse stories have shaped my view of the world. Stories matter to me because I want to hear them and I hope others want to hear mine. Some of my stories are easy to understand because they cut across obvious human differences such as color and gender. Others are more nuanced and may only be understood by those, like the Stanford community, willing to think outside familiar boundaries.

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