Yesterday, we announced the first honorable mention winner, Bianca Perito, for our Annual College Book Scholarship. Today, we announce the second! The three honorable mentions will be awarded $100, and the top winner will be awarded $500.
2nd Honorable Mention: Leon Hister
Leon Hister is a rising senior at Michigan State University dual majoring in Philosophy and Social Relations and Policy. He is very interested and involved in social justice. After graduation he plans on doing legal advocacy work before applying to law school.
Here is an excerpt from his essay:
"Before I started school, my answer to “tell me about yourself” sounded like an application to the depression Olympics. I was a black kid whose parents were divorced, neither went to college, and I lived in poverty. I was nothing more than the less than fortunate circumstances that I lived in. The idea that a possible answer to that very same question could be “a successful college student” seemed farfetched. It didn’t fit into the narrative I was always being told about people who led lives that looked like mine.
After the shock of being accepted into school wore away, I wanted to select a major that complimented my skills. Choosing to study Social Relations and Policy was the best decision I could have made. When I’m in a classroom to understand the conditions that create poverty and the people who live within it, I have an insight that I believe sets me apart from all the other students. I am able to take what I once believed was a vice and transform it to one my most closely treasured blessings.
Now, as I prepare to finish my last year at Michigan State University and graduate with honors, I realize that we all are more than what has happened to us. To me, Education is about exploring the bounds of our capabilities. My education is about rewriting the narrative. Each day that I wake up and make my way to class is a day I never imagined to have. I hope that my education is helping others, especially my younger siblings, become the author of their lives. Learn and rewrite what is possible for themselves.
In a way, getting an education is the most selfish thing I have ever done. I chose my major with the intention about learning about myself. I chose my major to try to understand how anyone could confuse poverty with their identity and worth. I chose my major to equip myself with the tools needed to end the cycle of poverty that produces extremely talented children who don’t have the resources to shine as bright as I now know I am."
We wish Leon all the best and can't wait to see all the good he does!
Check back tomorrow to see our 3rd Honorable Mention Winner.