I've lived in various places in the U.S. and abroad, so I always felt different. Now I feel like I have so much inside of me that I'm sure of. Bucknell has helped me grow into the person that I am proud of today.
"After being accepted to Bucknell, I decided to sign up for the pre-orientation program BuckWild, a dynamic outdoor education and leadership program. I didn't really have any experience with the outdoors, but I decided to push my limits and sign up for advanced backpacking. It was one of the hardest, yet most rewarding experiences I've had here. Afterwards, Tony Stafford, Director of Outdoor Education & Leadership, encouraged me to become an Outdoor Education Leader. I did my first outdoor education trip my sophomore year and absolutely loved it. It mainly focuses on team building exercises that entirely strip you down to natural instincts. When people get into the outdoors, regardless of status, background, race, gender, ethnicity — everyone becomes one. You need to utilize the outdoors like everyone else and work together to clean, cook, build, etc.
"Through the outdoors, I've been able to help others, and that has always been a goal of mine. My education major aids that because I get to work with youth. I took a course about the reformation of educational systems with Professor Abe Feuerstein, and that really unearthed some personal issues for me. He met with me numerous times to discuss these issues, which was extremely helpful.
"Through my religious studies major, I get to explore what makes people believe in different deities. I find it fascinating to study how faith works because I feel like I get to the core of what makes people tick. Professor Brantley Gasaway, my adviser in religious studies, has been nothing but supportive during my time here. He's met with me to discuss my classes and personal questions and opinions.
"The Posse Foundation, an organization that grants scholarships to students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by the traditional college process, has made my education here possible. Through the foundation, I was granted a scholarship, so I've always wanted to focus on giving back. I'm a Residential Adviser for a first-year hall in the Arts Residential College. I get to interact with them on a daily basis, and have already seen some remarkable transformations over the course of the year. I have grown with them, and I love that. I've lived in various places in the U.S. and abroad, so I always felt different. Now I feel like I have so much inside of me that I'm sure of. Bucknell has helped me grow into the person that I am proud of today."
Mary is from Nigeria and Boston, Mass.
Posted April 27, 2015
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