2018 OMA&D Celebration Recognition Scholars

2018 OMA&D Celebration Recognition Scholars

September 13, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


Throughout my first quarter I was gonna go
back home I was like “this school is not for me, I’m not doing good in my classes.” All of these things I’m away from home and
I miss my family and then..sorry, and OMA&D was there for me, to lift me up, and to say
that you are worth it, that you belong here we want a Latina women like you here. So the word that I describe OMA&D is “hope.” Empowerment. Present. Communities. Portal Family. Solidarity. Inclusivity. Determination. Resilient. Helpful. Encouraging. Opportunity. The one word I would describe OMA&D with is
“hero”. They are just like the savior behind the
scenes. I’ve met all my friends through OMA&D. I pretty much live here in the ECC and I’ve
had so much tutoring through the IC. They provided me with so many resources on
campus and if I didn’t have their determination to help students like me, I don’t think I’d
have the success that I do. I’m a first generation college student, I
don’t come from a really wealthy family either. I have a really strong urge to fight for
environmental justice, especially for the Pacific Islands, so I hope to bring equality
and a voice to those islands. Every year we have the opportunity to honor
outstanding scholars who’s making a difference in classrooms and in the community from which
they come. This year’s scholars connect to the 50th anniversary
because like those students in 1968, when the Black Student Union and their supporters
demanded that the UW make a commitment to diversity, they wanted to see a support structure
created for students. And now here, we are 50 years later and our
current students are thriving because of the vast arrays of services OMA&D offers today. We support students with advising, counseling,
instructional support, community spaces and much more. These students we celebrate tonight are the
realization of the vision of the BSU 50 years ago. We know there’s much work to be done and we
are excited to see how students will impact the university in the next 50 years. So I started to do speech therapy during Kindergarten
through third grade. There’s no specific medical reason, just a
hard time developing and making my syllables sound clear cause I had a hard time learning
how to use my tongue, and so that definitely hindered my progress a little bit from getting
picked on at school to my un-comfortableness to really, you know, speak out in public,
speak out in class. So I’ve overcome my speech impediment and
here at the University of Washington I’ve been able to be a voice not only for myself,
but for other students as well. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to use the
university as a platform for my voice to be heard. So I’m part of the program called the Brotherhood
Initiative and it aims to boost enrollment, retention, and graduation rates among young
men of color. So my potential is, you know, endless and
unlimited. OMA&D programs has helped me out a lot with
making connections and being at such a large institution, gathering us students of color
into a smaller environment, so it has definitely provided a place for me to feel safe, it has
provided a great support system for me. My journey into getting to UW started with
my parents. My dad is a refugee from El Salvador, during their civil war he escaped and went to the US. And then my mom was escaping domestic violence
so both of them left their home countries to come to the US where they eventually met. My parents definitely had just one dream and
that was for me to graduate high school, so I think where I am right now definitely exceeds
their expectations of where I would be today. The biggest accomplishment that I’ve done
since coming to UW was successfully getting into the Materials Science and Engineering
department, and OMA&D played a huge role in that because there were counselors in the
Instructional Center which helped me on my application, which helped me in getting the
grades I needed to get in, and really making me a really strong applicant. Being a Latina, in a predominantly male engineering
field, there were definitely times where I doubted myself, but having my family constantly
reassuring me that I could do it and having counselors in the community there to also
tell me that I could do it. I just kept doing it. To think it’s been 50 years that OMA&D
has been helping students just like me and to think that they have so many years ahead
too, it’s just unbelievable. And to think that they chose me to help them
celebrate this year for them too, I fee honored to be apart of it. To the donors and to the people who made this
possible, just like to say thank you and that I appreciate everything that they’re doing. I am really, really grateful and I am honored
to receive this scholarship. It really means a lot to me and it means a
lot to other students as well, it allows students to reach their full potential without having
to worried about financial burdens. I would just say thank you so much, you have
no idea how much this means to me. I’ve never, I don’t think I have ever let
anyone down so I’ll keep that track record. Thank you so much for the support to help
us move on to reach our goals. Thank you so much for recognizing my hard
work. I would kind of have these lofty dreams like
maybe some day I can go to this beautiful campus and it’s donors, like, these people
that help that happen, they make it a reality for people like me who, I’ve never ever in
a million years thought I would be at UW Seattle. I just want to thank them for allowing me
the chance to continue onward with my dreams and to become the person that I know I can
be. I would like to say “faafetai lava”, thank
you in Samoan. I just want to say thank you. Thank you, thank you, I can’t say thank you
enough. Thank you.