Scholar Voices: Celebrating the class of 2022
As I approached graduation and reflected on the Earl Woods Scholar class of 2022, it became clear to me that the story of our college experience is one of resilience.
Each of us has endured countless struggles and tragedies and emerged much stronger and wiser. We have overcome every single obstacle that has come our way, from national distress to a global pandemic. Each of us is so much more than the worst thing we’ve ever experienced and nothing, not even the most formidable forces, can keep us down.
“To be truly visionary we have to root our imagination in our concrete reality while simultaneously imagining possibilities beyond that reality.” – bell hooks
The Earl Woods Scholar team saw our potential from the start and helped us to believe the sky is the limit. They provided us with a community in addition to their relentless dedication of time and energy.
I remember the first day we were introduced to everyone in our cohort. I had no clue what to make of anyone, outside of my peers from D.C. From struggling together to conquer our fears of the ropes and obstacle course to bonding over our late-night trips to Target and Jack in the Box, we have since shared many more meals, laughter, stress and tears, which all propelled us forward and helped us grow in the process. We would not be here at this milestone in our academic careers without one another.
We all have stories of overcoming obstacles and persisting in the face of unthinkable adversity.
- When late nights turned into unbearably early mornings, we persisted.
- When classes and coursework became so strenuous that it seemed we didn’t even have time to eat, we persisted.
- When we were forced to cope with the drastic changes brought by the pandemic, we persisted.
- When it seemed as if no fruits would come of our labor, we persisted.
- When it felt like no one acknowledged us or our accomplishments, we persisted, and we did it together.
I will forever hold each member of my cohort dear to my heart. We have created lifelong bonds.
The valuable life skills and networks that we have acquired and built are extremely valuable; however, I have to say my cohort has been the best part of my experience as an Earl Woods Scholar. We have made so many memories together since the day we were introduced to everyone, memories that will remain in the back of our minds as we all embark on our different journeys in life.
Our hard work, although not unnoticed, is not done. As we all prepare to walk into our next chapters, we must get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Only when we are comfortable with discomfort can we experience true growth.