Riverside sunset
« All Posts by this Blogger
Snow Covered truck

Having just taken a road trip from Hanover, New Hampshire, back home to Arkansas, I've had a lot of time to think about my experience at Dartmouth so far. As I drove through Vermont and made my way into upstate New York, I was reminded of just how beautiful the land can be. I remembered just how grateful I should be to pursue my academic dreams in such a beautiful place. I made my way through the bigger cities in Ohio and its rural farmland. This reminded me of my personal journey—how I'd grown up in rural, conservative farmland USA and made my way to New England. Eventually, I made my way to Kentucky, Missouri, and Arkansas where I was reminded that home will always be home. Like it or not, I missed the flat farmland I'd grown up around. I missed the sandy soil and the picturesque sunsets that the dust in the air created. It was peaceful to be back at home.

"Back at home" doesn't mean I'll be resting the entire time I'm here. In fact, I view it as the perfect time to get ahead by researching potential career paths, looking up internship opportunities and volunteering. I'm focusing much more on the latter this winterim (winter + interim = winterim). Thanks to a new program at Dartmouth, I'm volunteering with the local National Weather Service office in Memphis, Tennessee, over break. The program, called the impACT Winterim Leadership Intensive through the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact (DCSI) provided me with a $1500 stipend to volunteer with an organization serving underrepresented communities. As a first-generation and low-income student, volunteering with no pay isn't practical. Quite plainly, I wouldn't be able to do it if it weren't for this funding. It was a rigorous process to apply for the program and will require an extensive amount of work in the next few weeks to come up with the final poster, but I'm getting to learn more about serving the needs of the people through the lens of weather and climate. That is the best thing I could ask for over break.

The National Weather Service building in Memphis, TN.
The National Weather Service building in Memphis, TN!

It's one thing to get a scholarship to help pay for your education—like your classes, a place to stay, and other miscellaneous costs. For me, it's just incredible to secure funding to do something like volunteer. Yet, I'm not surprised that this kind of opportunity exists at Dartmouth. If you do a bit of research, you'll quickly learn that there are financial resources at Dartmouth ready to support its students at any time. Whether it's a research grant, a gift card to buy winter clothing, or having free snacks in a common room, Dartmouth has been there for me financially. My family has always struggled with finances, and I'm reminded daily of just how grateful I should be to have the financial capabilities that I do at Dartmouth. It's also a testament to the fact that upward mobility is possible for someone like me. There are many things I've stressed about in my life, and college is stressful (I won't deny that). But, with Dartmouth's resources, finances aren't nearly as much of a stressor as they used to be.

Posts You Might Like