Family has always been one of my core values. My mother is one of seven siblings and my grandad is one of thirteen. I then have more family on my father’s and sister’s mothers’s side. Needless to say, I had no choice but to be surrounded by large amounts of family members my entire life. Being around people that love each other unconditionally, but have dramatically different personalities has made me the person I am today. Family has been such a norm in my life that it made me slightly nervous to come to Ohio State, which is an hour and a half away from them. I wasn’t sure how being away from my main support system and friends were going to effect my life. As my college career continues and more of my family members around my age goes off to college, I’ve found ways to keep strong relationships over long distances. Knowing that I will always have them no matter where I go in life has made me more comfortable in taking on challenges even when my family isn’t staying down the street from me.
Music is a huge part of my life. I started playing the viola in my middle school orchestra at age 11. The viola looks like a violin, but is larger and has a deeper sound. Playing an instrument opens my mind up to a whole new world. Almost everyone loves music, but there’s something about knowing how to create music that made me appreciate it even more. Playing the viola has brought me closer to myself. Music, much like art, is another form of communication and keeps me close to the deeper side of my emotions. Playing in an orchestra has taught me how to work well with others. Orchestra requires teamwork and participation from everyone involved. Everyone is expected to practice and give their all during rehearsals and performances. Being in orchestra was an unique experience because it showed me how people perceive things in different ways. Listening and seeing the way others play brings out their personality and gave me a look into how they see the world. Learning how to work with others by paying attention to their perception of life is important in educational and work environments. It also reminds me that the world is a diverse place and everyone goes through their own experiences that shape who they are as a person.
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Global Awareness: Because of my culture and appearance I feel that I have always been appreciative and mindful of the things that make each individual different. Being marginalized by my differences and having people try to ignore my differences as a means of making it easier on themselves leads me to strive to always recognize the things in others that make them them. There is no limit to what differentiate’s one person from another and it’s important to take notice of the external as well as the internal aspects that make up each person. Doing this helps me understand how to interact with others while teaching me about myself. During the fall semester of 2017, I took a service learning class: ESHESA 2571. The class was a requirement to be an active 2nd year member of my scholars group, therefore everyone in the class was in Mount Leadership Society. The class’s goal was to better our knowledge about service with a focus on social issues. Social issues, with the exception to some, are mainly connected with minority groups. With that said, many of our classes were focused on the experiences of these minority groups. My scholars group is a direct reflection of Ohio State’s demographics. The majority of the members are white, middle class or above students. That fact is not negative. It just means that their prior knowledge and experience in the class was different that myself’s and others who didn’t fall into that category. Recognizing that the way we all interacted differently with some of the info in the class is helped me better understand the types of discussions we held and questions or comments that appeared.
Original Inquiry: As a member of the STEP program, I have been given the opportunity to discover myself on deeper levels, share and listen to others ideas about oneself in a safe environment, and create a “project” that will further my academic, professional, community, and self knowledge experience. At the beginning of the program, I had a little difficulty deciding what I wanted my project to be not because I couldn’t think of anything, but because I had too many ideas on what type of project to create. The project I am currently creating is hopefully something that would be beneficial to the personal, cultural, professional, and recreational parts of my life. After doing some extensive research research on my school’s education abroad page, I found a 2019 summer program in Kingston, Jamaica that focuses on the art of that specific culture. The program will allow me to observe the way this sector of the world engages with the process of making art and help me understand myself as an artist/person while understanding others within the African Diaspora. While taking part in the pre-planned involvements of the program, I also want to take classes at the partnered art school because I believe making art with those you are observing creates a a more in-depth understanding of the people you are learning from. The most challenging part of this program would have to be the financial aspect of it. I’ve budgeted for some of the money to come from STEP funding, study abroad scholarships, and The College of Arts and Sciences scholarships. In the near future, I will be researching more information about the Jamaican culture and the fine details of the program to create an amazing project proposal.
Academic Enrichment: How well I do in school has been/is important to me mainly because in this society, it is seen as a direct reflection of the type of person you are. I don’t agree with how some people use my school experience as concrete data to determine my personality and reliability, but I understand that it’s important in some aspects of life. The focus placed on certain “knowledge” requirements from class does not limit my thoughts on what I feel is important to know in life. My passion is art and my major is art, which is in itself outside what some consider a core educational subject. To me, being creative and knowing yourself are some of the most needed skills in life. Having the ability to think in ways that don’t follow strict guidelines is beneficial to many sectors of life, whether it be professional or social. I also put an enormous value on expanding my knowledge about the multiple ways we experience life. This interest makes me want to always push myself outside of my comfort zone and take on and try to experience things that are outside of my normal everyday. This includes going to random events around campus, trying new foods, traveling with groups of people I don’t usually engage with, reading articles I’d normally ignore, etc. Whether inside or outside the classroom/studio, keeping an open mind helps me be the best knowledgeable person I can be.
Leadership Development: My experience as a Mount Leadership Society scholar is directly related to my transformation into a successful leader. The ongoing discussions about what makes a good leader and what how to use your skills to personalize how you lead has helped me the most. A leader is someone that knows how to intertwine being great role model, helping others, and guiding others without seeing themselves above those they are leading. As you become a better leader, those you are helping should be becoming better leaders as well. Last year I decided I wanted to be a committee chair in my scholars group to gain experience working with peers, planning events, and furthering my leadership and time management skills. My main goal with my committee is to have fun and help the members gain the same experiences I am hoping to gain. I put fun before the leadership aspect of the committee because my committee plans leisure activities that focus on physical and internal wellness. I also put fun first because any group you want to be a leader in should be fun and interesting to you. During meetings, I and the other chairs include the members in every step of planning events, that way they know their thoughts and work is necessary to the committee’s success. It would be simpler for the chairs to do all the work with the lesson plans and just direct the members on what to do during each event, but then the members wouldn’t be receiving any beneficial knowledge and I in return would worsen my leadership skills.
Service Engagement: In the fall of 2017, I began volunteering at the Boys&Girls RISE Club near Ohio State’s campus. I chose to become a volunteer there mainly because I love working with kids and have a strong passion for helping those in my cultural community. I strive to go to the club at least once a week for the majority of the member’s time there. The club’s mission is to “empower young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens.” This includes homework help, activities that allow them to freely express themselves, and creating a safe, reliable, and family-like environment for the members. Being at the club has allowed me to help create that environment for the kids while also informing me on the issues surrounding people in my community in Columbus. Ohio State somewhat creates a bubble around it’s campus and it can be hard for students to engage with the communities surrounding them. The school encourages us to go outside of it’s boundaries, but many of the communities directly outside of campus have altered it’s make up to please the needs of the students, thus making it seem like we are getting a feel for Columbus when we really aren’t. I believe my biggest success so far at the club has been the individual attention I give to everyone. Not every member or staff personnel are the same. How I help one member with homework or how I help one staff personnel lead an activity changes depending on the person. I believe paying attention to the role as volunteer, how to value those at your place of service, and why their outcomes from the place of service are more important than yours are the most important aspects of service.
Career Objective As a young adult, I had feelings about certain topics. That all changed when I got involved in art classes my sophomore year in high school. Art helped me work through internal issues and taught me how to communicate with others without the use of language. I aspire to be an Art Therapist because I’d like to help others through art the same way art helped me.
Work Experience (most recent)
At Home (Home Decor Superstore) Sales Associate June 2017 – current 11925 Commons Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45246 (513) 275-1158
Work check-out are while watching front door for activity that may endanger customers and sales associates. Unbox, organize, distribute, and reorganize store merchandise. Effectively work with co-workers to handle any needs the customers may have. Quickly resolve problems so the store ran efficiently.
Park-Stradley Hall Office Assistant August 2017 – current 120 W 11th Avenue (614) 2292-5171
Help manage the front desk/phone while ensuring the well-being of residents. Log and issue mail. Issue out resources. Attend meetings and discussions on how to make living in Ohio State dorms a safe, enjoyable, and inclusive experience.
Princeton High School Graduation Date: May 2016 Final GPA: 4.2 (weighted) 100 Viking Way, Cincinnati, OH 45146 Type of Courses: Honors, AP, and IB Service and Organization Affiliations: 6th Grade Preparation Day, some work with Key Club, and YWCA Mamie Earl Scholars
The Ohio State University Projected Graduation Date: Spring 2020 Current GPA: 3.5 Columbus, OH 43210 Major: Bachelor of Art Minor:Psychology Service and Organization Affiliations: Mount Leadership Society, Morrill Scholars Program, Black Student Association, and Boys&Girls RISE Club
*team building *encouragement skills *customer service *organization *peer event planning *verbal and written communication *time management *computer/tablet/phone skills
Learning had never been that difficult to me. I’ve had struggles with certain topics in school, but I’ve always found ways for me to learn them. That all changed when I entered high school. High school is completely different from lower levels of education because it focuses on testing rather than teaching. Once I realized that high school was only a passing point to get to college, I wasn’t happy because I truly enjoy the process of learning. It became more difficult to understand information. During sophomore year, I began taking art classes. I’ve always been creative, but was never interested in arts. After taking a second level drawing class, I began seeing art as a language and way of thinking. The artwork above is titled “…but we love each other!” In 2013, I became very passionate about domestic violence because my sister was murdered by her boyfriend. The artwork is closest to my heart and reminds me of the moment I figured out art was my passion. I created “…but we love each other” for my final project in drawing class. The class helped me find a new way of learning, which has influenced the way I handle school assignments and other aspects in life. By finding my passion for art, I now know that I am more of a visual and tactile learner. It’s easier for me to understand something through images and processes. For example, if I forget a piece of information while taking a test, I try to remember where it was on my study guide. Finding out what type of learner you are is important because it helps you understand how you see the world.
Kayla Walker is a first-year Scholar from Cincinnati, Ohio. During her time at OSU, she will be majoring in Fine Arts with a minor in Psychology. By combining her love for drawing/painting and enthusiasm for helping others, Kayla hopes to earn a Masters in Art Therapy. Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that encourages self-expression and can be used as a remedy or as an aid of diagnosis. She strongly believes that art is healing form of communication and wants to inform others, especially children, of the benefits of using their creative side when dealing with life issues. Ohio State does not offer a pre-art therapy program, but the combination of her major and minor with her connections to programs, facilities, and people that practice art therapy will give her the course requirements and experience she needs to apply for her masters. Before coming to Ohio State, Kayla participated in multiple orchestra groups and spent much of her time doing gymnastics. Due to current schedule conflicts with her scholars program and academics, she currently isn’t involved in any orchestra or gymnastics clubs, but uses her free time to practice her viola and explore fitness classes at the RPAC. Kayla is a member of the Mount Leadership Society, which focuses on helping students develop their leadership skills and while participating in a wide range of community service projects on and off campus. She is also a member of the Wellness Activities Committee (WAC) within the scholars group. WAC encourages members of Mount to get involved in daily activities by creating fun fitness events, informing people of intramural sports within Mount, and discussing the importance of a healthy diet. Kayla deeply enjoys being in the Mount Leadership Society because of their strong sense of community and strive to make an impact on campus, in Columbus, and the world.