In my first year at Howard University, I found that my inclination towards the social sciences not entirely fulfilled. Although I am a proponent for the social sciences, it was important that I compliment this understanding with a major in the humanities. I decided to double major in Philosophy and Political Science, giving myself the breadth required to formally contemplate life and society. I needed philosophy to attain a grasp of personhood. This would allow me to reflect more deeply on the individual within structures that serve to hinder or enhance their life experience. In classes, I found myself pulling philosophical concepts and using them to analyze working political ideologies' efficacy in society.
My studies alone have not made me the person I am. I am a social activist and created a nonprofit organization for a student-student mentoring program, the Urban Youth Alliance. As a leader of two programs pertaining to social justice (also being an Editor-in-Chief of on online magazine Watch that Negro), I have furthered my academic pursuits with hands-on experience. As director of UYA, a college coaching nonprofit organization for public high school students of color, I honed my skills as an administrator. I have proven successful in the design and implementation of many programs and similar to the goals held by Varsity Tutors and I understand the importance of mentorship within academic work.
As a mentor and tutor, I want to emphasize my desire to coordinate my research with my creative writing. Like a thought experiment, prose can shed light on the realities of my suppositions. Not unlike how my favorite authors James Baldwin, Haruki Murakami explore the nuances of human life within their literature, I want to write novels that lend themselves to dialectical argumentation and answer profound questions through the narratives of characters that only exist on paper. In this way, I will support my research with prose to reach the broader population. I intend to become a professor who instructs their students to creatively engage with their passions. To begin this process, I will pursue a doctorate in philosophy immediately after attaining this scholarship.
I am most interested in political theory and philosophy of the mind for the discovery of a quality life in the pursuit of happiness. I have been separating this interest into distinct parts to answer this question: how should society value happiness despite the diversity of identity and conflicting interests? Influenced by the Rawlsian theory of justice, I wrote a short story paralleling justice with happiness. The story examines a dystopian society that prioritizes the population's happiness over all other virtues. In this society, the government extends its powers to ensure happiness. It is the extreme conclusion to the extent of how political bodies can function as insurance of citizens' happiness. The protagonist and all other minors are raised separately from society and upon entering adulthood at eighteen years old are administered a psychological examination to determine their "happiness potential." If the results are unsatisfactory, they are prescribed mandatory pharmaceuticals to keep them content, an unideal end, but one that captures the extreme hypothesis.
My most recent independent research is an evaluation of the necessary conditions for happiness, which I determine is forgetting one's emotional past, using an emotional state theory of happiness. The differing views of theories of happiness in the field today are external versus internal, gratification versus a psychological state. Although my current research seemingly focuses on only the psychological by using the emotional state theory, an individualistic theory, I recognize how outside experiences affect the emotional state. This creates a compound theory that acknowledges intersectional experiences.
Still, the interaction between identity and happiness is ostensibly a psychological topic. Furthermore, sociological and psychological research has proven that people in society who suffer from multiple intersections of oppression are most likely to suffer from depression and other mental illnesses. My research becomes philosophical when I theorize a definition of happiness suitable to this reality and research to what extent societies can prioritize happiness knowing that one person's happiness can cause unhappiness for another. People have conflicting interests and with limited resources, it seems impossible to satisfy everyone. When transgender people are able to use whatever restroom with which they identify, to some extent their oppression is lessened, giving them a degree of contentment. Simultaneously, some devout Christian groups are staunchly against trans-rights and will be unsatisfied if this occurs. In a case like this, whose happiness is more important? Real world answers are necessary if we are to live in a content society. It is obvious that the world is obsessed with how to be happy. A plethora of self-help books discuss just this, but they rarely tackle how intersectional experiences affect psychological happiness. If real-world happiness is possible for all people within a given society, I will find how.
Undergraduate Degree: Howard University - Bachelor of Philosophy, Philosophy
ACT Composite: 33
ACT English: 34
ACT Math: 32
ACT Reading: 34
ACT Science: 31
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1520
SAT Math: 720
SAT Verbal: 720
SAT Writing: 770
Creative writing, philosophy, reading fiction, French, K Pop
High School English
High School Level American Literature
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing