The opportunities I received have allowed me to explore my passions and develop a sense of who I am and who I want to be as a person. Entering college I knew I wanted to be a Graphic Design major; I also wanted to be a Dance major but I was not sure if I wanted to be labeled as an “arts” major. Throughout the years, I have learned that being involved with the arts does not mean I have less credibility than a business major. This scholarship, with the help of Faculty Director Dr. Marlett, has helped me realize that art and dance are my passions, and I have learned to be okay with that.
I became involved with dance at App through the First Year Showcase produced by the Dance and Theater Departments. It was my first chance to perform at the university, and as the year passed and I took dance courses here, I could feel the difference in my self-esteem. I auditioned for and was cast in the Spring Appalachian Dance Ensemble which is a main stage performance by the dance department. I have also continued my involvement from last year with the Momentum Dance Club as an Open Class Coordinator. I was encouraged to spend my summer exploring and developing my passion for dance, and I achieved that with the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC. I met dancers from around the world, witnessed performances by critically acclaimed dance companies, and was inspired by the spirit each dancer put into their work. Additionally, I was able to choreograph a piece on social justice issues for the student concert. I returned from the festival ready to begin developing each idea and fully commit myself to becoming more involved around campus.
I became a member of the Chancellor’s Board for Diversity Recruitment as a way to recruit and retain more minorities at App. I love being a part of this board and having the opportunity to speak with prospective students about the university; it also gives me the chance to get involved with more minority organizations and learn about students’ needs on campus. Another passion of mine is advocating for social justice and making societal issues aware within the community. With this scholarship program, I am able to explore bridges between my passions like using dance as a method for creating social change. With so many upcoming events and opportunities, I am excited to see how I grow with this scholarship program and this university.