In this post from University Scholar Ecaroh Jackson ’19 describes how her experience in the University Scholar Exploration Groups helped prepare her to apply for the Black and Proud Corporation Scholarship.
Howdy! My name is Ecaroh Jackson and I am a junior math/science education major. Earlier this semester I had the privilege of receiving the first annual scholarship from the Black and Proud Corporation. The Black and Proud Corporation is a nonprofit company established in 2016 to promote educational, economic, and cultural development in the African American community.
This scholarship application process was a time for self-exploration – something I’ve had a lot of practice with in the last 3 semesters due to the University Scholars Exploration series. I have participated in the “Futuring Yourself,” “Controversy,” and “Conspiracy Theories” classes. As I prepared to write my essays for the scholarship, I reflected over the many lessons I learned while in those classes.
In “Futuring Yourself,” I learned that to advance your future, it is necessary to address your past. As a future driven individual, I often look upon the past with disdain. Why look back when the future is much brighter? Avoiding the past hinders you from discovering your strengths and weaknesses, and without being knowledgeable about them, hinders you from improving. With each week’s reflections, I learned more about myself. I learned about my true interests, what inspires me, and most importantly, who I am.
“Controversy” retaught me that it is okay to openly disagree. Variations in opinions allow us to shape well-rounded solutions to divisive problems. Before college, I wasn’t one to back down from an argument, but after coming to A&M, I have struggled with my desire to voice my perspectives to known dissenters. Conflict is healthy, and shouldn’t be neglected. Being in a class of nine students gave me the opportunity to slowly integrate my input in a supportive, but challenging manner.
In “Conspiracy Theories,” I learned that anything is possible. Our universe’s ultimate truth (if there is such a thing) has yet to be discovered, meaning that our current possibilities are endless. Knowing this allowed me to not only formulate, but refine my ideas. Social movements, such as the movement that the Black and Proud Corporation supports, don’t usually achieve their ultimate objective without drawbacks that require them to modify their plans. Learning about conspiracy theories and their history gave me the tools needed to devise plans that include a variety of different scenarios.
All of my exploration classes have helped me develop my thought process in a way that I didn’t think was possible before. I am now able to develop responses to divisive questions. These responses allowed me to write a successful application to the Black and Proud Corporation and ultimately allowed me to receive the scholarship.
Freshmen interested in applying for the University Scholars program can learn more by going to our website at http://launch.tamu.edu/Honors/University-Scholars. The application will open in January 2018.