Celebrating a Summer and Looking Ahead
Summer ends early at Scholarship Plus, as internships wind down and students start the process of saying goodbye to family and preparing for life at colleges all over the country. So on Aug. 5, thirty-some members of the Scholarship Plus family — undergraduates, recent grads and friends of the program — got together to renew friendships, make new ones, enjoy a hearty buffet and say goodbye until our winter gathering.
A major subject of the evening's chatter was summer internships of all sorts, among them paid jobs at New York Public Radio, including with one of the station's best-known on-air hosts, a research position at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and work at two top New York law firms. Two students, neither of them Chinese, compared notes on learning Mandarin.
The evening's only speech was brief and moving, a personal story told by Eda Pepi, fresh back from a Fulbright research fellowship based in Amman, Jordan. A former New York Times Scholarship winner, Eda told of undergraduate years at Harvard and her experimentation with several career paths since, including Wall Street and helping to organize academic conferences all over the world. Now a Ph.D. student and teaching assistant at Stanford, she ended with some advice for undergraduates.
First, she said, get to know your professors – who very much want to get to know you. Second, never hesitate to ask for help. The system, she said, has given many of your college classmates all the help in the world. Now it's your turn. But you have to ask. And finally: Don't be afraid of the unknown. Embrace it, and you may wind up finding your future.