Reflective Essay: The UCLA VIP Scholar Program

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Getting accepted to UCLA VIP Scholar Program, I knew that this accomplishment would change my life and the lives of my family members. In the beginning, I only saw how this program would provide financial assistance for college tuition, but during the year of being in the program, I gained knowledge about myself, knowledge on how to become a better leader, and knowledge that gave me the starting point to end institutionalized oppression for individuals who look like me. During this program, I lived on the UCLA campus for two weeks during my 10th grade year, and for five weeks, during my 11th grade year. During these brief time periods, I received vital educational resources and knowledge that allowed me to become a better scholar, leader,…show more content…
This program gave me a sense of acceptance and self-worth, as I felt that I belonged in an environment that genuinely cared for me and my culture. Those summer programs were perhaps the best experiences of my high school career, as I was given all the tools and skills that would be beneficial for my future. The program consisted of workshops that discussed the social issues of society. Also, many prestigious African-American leaders, such as doctors, lawyers, and professors, spoke with us, expressing how knowledge and education would be the way to reach success and end systems of racial inequity. From the teachings I received by these prominent figures, I became inspired to become a professor, seeking to create change in my community through education and aspiring to perform actions that would alter an unjust world in a positive direction. I was in utter shock after seeing so many successful individuals who looked like me; I idolized their academic success, wishing to follow in their path. VIPS informed that me I could still be considered “cool” and educated at the same time. This program discovered the leadership qualities and confidence I never thought I possessed. This program changed my live entirely, as they molded me into an individual that aspired to educate misguided individuals about the evils of racism. These educational courses that were provided to me, gave me the ability to enhance and

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