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Jenny Arabit, UC LEADS 2017-2019, UC Davis

Jenny Arabit

January 30, 2018

I grew up in a low- income community where it was difficult to find the resources that I needed to be able to attend a university. Students saw education as important, but found the financial burden to be too much. The lack of mentors and resources to guide students like me often resulted in us not considering university at all.

My first year as a UC LEADS Scholar has been nothing short of amazing. It is not only very educational, but also very encouraging. Our mentors Anna and Carlos support us through every challenge. They encourage us to look further into our research projects by asking questions that we might not have considered. Our mentors constantly make us think about how we can improve our research projects, and our networking skills. They help us understand and navigate the process of applying to graduate school.

UC LEADS has made me more confident in my interactions with faculty and has built my communication skills by developing how I talk about my research project. It has also opened the world of academia for me, which I knew very little about before UC LEADS. Through this program, I was able to see what I needed to do to become a better candidate for graduate school.

Five years from now, I see myself in graduate school. Ten years from now, I see myself in industry, but still doing research. My current research project was inspired by my home community. In the future, I will bring my experience back to my community by serving as a mentor and being the support that they need to navigate higher education.

What gets me going in the morning is the thought of being a little bit closer to my goals. Often, it becomes difficult to see what I am trying to achieve, and whether I am putting in enough effort to reach my goals. When I step back and see how far I have gone,  I realize that I am getting closer.

UC LEADS motivates me to keep going.