I’m pursuing thisprogram as a part of my goal to create a positive impact among the people of mycommunity in relation to the fields of justice, economy and health. I amdetermined to learn more about the structure, andthe concepts that are pre-existing in the urbancommunity that needs to change. Additionally, I am seeking to understand what tools I might use to become a better communityleader.

Eager to make adifference, I am optimistic about the future state and well being of others. Wein Chicago are in the midst of gentrification, potentiallya positive thing for the makeup of the city until you consider the number of misplacedand disadvantaged Chicagoans. There is an increase in homelessness due to thedestruction of public housing for gentrification. Admittedly, the housingprogram has also not been a success. While providing low-income shelter, publichousing became a place where the lower class were exploited in some form orfashion. There are simply not enough resources for the under privileged.

In light ofexamples such as this, I strongly believe inorder to be an advocate to places that are starving for change, I need to armmyself with knowledge on how these things came to be and how to counter actthem. Admissions into the UPPA program would be an opportunity to build aformal understanding of community activism, social justice, policy, urbandevelopment and public health.

Buildingrelationships, organizing communities and mobilizing people for the sake ofresolving conflict is my overall efforts. I have a vision of addressing theissue of food deserts across the city. This has been a personal passion that Iam striving to expeditiously carry out. I hopemy empathy will help me out on my journey throughout life while I am trying tofind a solution to this issue. I come from a total different background of workand skills as far as my past but my past is what leads me to want to be achange agent.

I come from a background of retail and customer support. To be more specific, I worked in a warehouse.I worked in the back of a retail store, never having a chance to express myselfcreatively and devoid of any chance to beinnovative. Honestly, I felt as if I were a slave on the job, following a systematic approachat doing things.  My frustration drove meto initially pursue an education at DeVryUniversity.

DeVry Universitywas my first college experience. Throughout my years of attending this school,I was skeptical about what I wanted to do. I switched majors a couple of timesbecause some things just didn’t interest me as much as I thought it would. Iloved English, history and sociology, but those classes were electives and werenot seen as important but they held much value to me personally.

They made me feelsomething inside. I could remember learning about Hurricane Katrina, and the systemthrough which the government will use resourcesto benefit the ideas of the dominant ideology. It became clear the resourceswere not for the people in the south.  Inhistory, I learned about imperialism and how the war was a way to dominate the people’sresources while capitalizing from the war as well. Here, I wrote a paper doing a comparative analysis of the war inIraq and the war in Vietnam, and reached a conclusion, that they were bothdriven by the same efforts of the dominant ideology. I also found that the onlydifference between the wars was, lies in the use privatecontractors in the more recent war, unheard of in the Vietnam War.

After a few yearsat DeVry, I participated in an internship at i.c.stars|*,  A non-profit organization, i.c.stars|*  has a mission to develop 1000 communityleaders by the year 2020 through developing an individuals’ skills in business,leadership and technology. It wasn’t until I joined this organization I had thechance to question what I really would like to do in life. The president andco-founder Sandee Kastrul lead a series of leadership workshops that gaveinterns a chance to express their goals on paper. In our dream speech we had towrite about where we saw ourselves in 20 years as we accepted an award for ourefforts in a cause.  I want to beremembered and awarded as a “Humanitarian of the Year”, someone who continuallydedicates time into fighting indifference, intolerance and influence changewhere change is needed.

My personalexperiences with social injustice gave me the ambition and the drive to want totouch people consciously and in a way that will make them feel empowered. Inlife, we are all looking to feel like we belong. I yearn for knowledge thatwill help me understand how such things like scarcity, inequality and corruptionexist. I believe that entrance into the Public affairs program will prepare meto be a stronger community leader and how to be innovative in a sociallyconscious manner.

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