Name: Nikayla Kirchner
Currently Enrolled (2019): George Mason University
“…it does mean a lot to win the scholarship, especially considering how much I have planned for my college experience and education. It will definitely influence my education by not only alleviating some unnecessary expenses, but also by opening new doors for other important expenses that are much more crucial to my education, such as studying abroad internship applications, or fees association with taking extra classes.
As for my career goals and aspirations, I generally want to enter into a Communications or media-related field in hopes of becoming a journalist focused on social activism, education, and politics. My biggest dream, however, is to one day start my own publishing company where I can write and publish on those topics, as well as expand my voice amongst a wider audience.”
“From the moment I picked up my first book, “Biscuit,” at the age of two, I genuinely knew I aspired to one day become a writer. I wanted to write about anything and everything in every form of media possible; novels, journals, magazine editorials, even textbooks were on my palette. By the time I reached twelfth grade, I had decided to pursue a career in Journalism, hoping that one day my ambition will lead me to writing for the New York Times, the Washington Post, or any other editorial source that will allow for my passion and artistic expression. As cliche as it sounds, I wish to someday change the world with my words by bringing light to those without a voice, fully expressing my artistic creativity, and reaching the highest extent of my literary potential.
First and foremost, I plan to achieve this goal by beginning my higher education at George Mason University, attending their School of Humanities and Social Sciences with a major in Communications/Journalism and a minor in Spanish. Subsequently, my time in college will consist of both academics and extracurriculars surrounding and pertaining to the art of media and journalism; I plan to write for the school’s newspaper, host my own radio talk show, and continue my studies my field of study as well as the school’s Honors College, of which emphasizes research, refining writing skills, and ethical journalism. Furthermore, I plan to expand my opportunities and real-world experiences by interning at editorial offices in Washington D.C (which is merely a half hour away from George Mason), in addition to studying abroad in either Spain or Italy to refine my Spanish skills and understand other cultures. Lastly, and most importantly, to help fund these goals, I plan to participate in the federal work-study program and continue to apply for as many scholarships as I can throughout college, alongside continuing my hard work and determined efforts.
In spite of my goals and efforts, adversity does not discriminate; no matter the person, class, or reputation, adversity is omnipresent and nonetheless consistent. As a biracial black-white female, I am well aware of the statistics regarding African American women in the field of journalism. Females in general face four times as much adversity and unfair treatment as males in the workplace, but as an African American female I am at risk for even worse treatment. Not only are black female journalists a rarity in the journalistic world, but they are also at serious risk for sexual assault, discrimination, and copyright infringement. My uncle, a professor at Cornell University for African American history and Sociology, warned me of these challenges after I expressed my educational and career goals. He mentioned how people do not really see many black female reporters and journalists. Nevertheless, my keen awareness of these statistics and roadblocks actually fuel my desire to change the world with my writing. As previously stated, adversity is consistent and ever-present, and some people, like myself, are sadly born with a predisposition to harsher adversity; however, I absolutely cannot let these interfere with my ultimate goals. I know the extent of my determination and potential as well as the severity of my adversity, and it is with this knowledge that I can prepare and overcome them as they approach.
Moreover, this scholarship will certainly assist me in achieving my goals by providing me with the financial tools necessary to pursue them. It is no secret that college is a remarkably intense investment; the costs add up and can lead to financial burden, but each scholarship, grant, or loan, not matter how big or small, can make an immense difference. With this scholarship, I will have more opportunity to afford the schooling and internships necessary for me to achieve me ultimate goals in life.”