Chapel Hill Carrboro Peacemaking Scholarship
2014 Peacemaking Scholarship Recipient
Thank you so much for having me. I find great joy being here in the unbelievably welcoming community that is the United Church of Chapel Hill. It is an honor to now feel a connection to this warm congregation that’s such a strong force in the Chapel Hill community. The generosity of this church is what brings me here today– I could not be more grateful for the Peacemaking scholarship.
Like all students, I have many aspirations for the future and with your support, I hope to make them a reality. Incredible global health opportunities at my school, Carrboro High, as well as doing clinical HIV/AIDS research at UNC Chapel hill has inspired me to want to become an infectious disease doctor. From working with my amazing supervisor, Dr. David Wohl, I’ve become especially interested in the causes and manifestations of HIV/AIDS at home and abroad in prisoners and other at-risk people. What drives me–what gives my work a sense of cause– is my belief that health is a social justice issue. For instance, I don’t think it’s not a coincidence that incarcerated women are 36 times as likely to be living with HIV/AIDS, and it’s not a coincidence that the rate of new HIV infections in African American women is fifteen times higher than the rate for white women. I want to understand why this injustice exists through understanding the many complex forces affecting health today. Through exploring how personal connection and holistic education can bridge differences and enhance medical care, I hope to understand social complexities and be a better doctor. As the program insert says, next year, I will be at UNC-CHapel Hill as an Innovation Scholar, exploring how entrepreneurship can affect public health and social justice.
I feel a connection to, and the utmost respect for the United Church of Chapel Hill because it is clear that its members cultivate the idea that we all have a responsibility to make a difference in the world, no matter what form it takes. Sometimes it is hard to feel strongly about things. It can get us in arguments and it can cause us to have to make really tough decisions. Though sometimes annoying or even painful, we have to succumb to the power of our own passion. Let’s never suppress ourselves when our beliefs cause anger– let them make us cry. Let them make us argue. Through this passion we get action.
For me, the belief that propels me the most is that every person, no matter her skin color or socioeconomic class or criminal history– has the right to truly affordable and excellent healthcare. But you see, THIS belief is founded in a broader one–the important one–The belief that through hard work, support, human connection, and dialogue, we can make progress. This is what we share. And this is why I am here today to say thank you.
Eliza F., 2014 Peacemaking Scholarship Recipient
June 1, 2014
Young adults like you are naturally idealistic and hope-filled about creating a better world. Youthful energy, enthusiasm and idealism are precisely the qualities needed to build a future that is sustainable and life-giving. This Scholarship seeks to encourage those who are drawn to this challenge.
This Scholarship is available to graduating seniors who live or go to school in Chapel Hill or Carrboro and who are intending to pursue college education. A minimum of one $500.00 scholarship will be awarded to the student who best qualifies.
For more information, please download the information on the scholarship HERE and the Peacemaking Scholarship Information and Application form.