Bard was my dream school! It was a little daunting in the beginning—you need to put a lot of commitment into your work here. The great thing is that classes are small, so the professors are really accessible. I would talk to them about how I was doing. I also asked the older students if I had questions, and I had help from writing tutors. I found it pretty easy to get in the groove of what a professor expects.
I love how green the campus is. Especially coming from Texas, I'm not used to seeing this kind of greenery. I love the community garden. There's an effort on campus to be sustainable and grow one's own food. It's also just a beautiful place to sit and write. I like to go early in the morning when no one's up and just reflect. Blithewood lawn is just like a park. In the spring, all the kids come out with their picnic blankets. It’s amazing and it really makes me appreciate where I go to school—to just be around all these people and such a wonderfully beautiful place.
I decided first semester freshman year that I really wanted to do something with community engagement, so I started volunteering at the Astor Home for Children through TLS, just spending time with the kids one-on-one, doing art projects and being an older buddy. When it came time for me to start thinking about summer internships I decided to work with the Children's Defense Fund in Washington, D.C., and was able to do that with one of the Community Action Awards through the Center for Civic Engagement. I’ve naturally formed this interest in children's rights and education reform, which goes really well with my two majors. I became part of the NOLA project freshman year, too, and spent that January in New Orleans teaching at a school. Bard has a sustained interaction with the Broadmoor community there, which is meaningful for both the Bard students and the neighborhood. They have this great affection for Bard coming in and doing meaningful things in the community.
More recently, I interned with Human Rights Watch during a semester at the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program in New York City. I'm spending this summer interning at a film production company called Downtown Community Television Center, also in New York. I also founded a TLS project called Conversations on Class and became a writing fellow with the Learning Commons last year.
I think college comes at a very interesting time in life and I'm fortunate that the college I chose to attend during those critical years when I'm becoming an adult is Bard. I know now that I can explore an interest and be supported in it, even if it’s unusual. I know that there will be professors and peers there to encourage me. Bard has changed me in the sense that I don't just have big dreams; I have big goals and I know that I'm going to be able to fulfill them.