I hope to be selected for a Public Interest Scholarship based on the fact that I am from one of the most disadvantaged peoples or nations on the planet. I have demonstrated that I am able to meet the challenges that I face as a result of my steadfast determination. Most of all, I feel that I have shown commitment and have enormous potential for improving the lives of vast numbers of people for generations to some as an education specialist and minority-group advocate, particularly with respect to my own people, the Uyghurs.
Now a permanent resident of the USA, I was born and raised in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in China. Uighurs are one of the largest ethnic minorities in China. In my hometown, most people are farmers, and most live in poverty. Most Uyghur children simply drop out of school at an early age because their family cannot afford the expenses of school and child labor is needed on the farm. Uyghur girls, my special long-term focus, in particular, rarely achieve much formal education as it is thought more important that they become proficient in housework and childrearing rather than studying. I want to become a prominent and recognized voice for the human rights of Uyghur women and girls, especially the human right to not be discriminated against in terms of opportunities to acquire an education
My mother, my foremost role model, spent 30 years as a public-school teacher, spending a big part of her meager salary to buy school supplies for the poorest children who were unable to purchase their own notebooks and pens. Often, her female students would come to our home to read, since they were not allowed to read books at home. My mother taught me from infancy to help the less fortunate, especially innocent, defenseless, minority children and most of all girls. Here in America I have worked as a community social worker and care coordinator for NYC Health, serving in a variety of NYC hospitals. I have also volunteered at schools and homes for the elderly. My work and volunteer experiences have reinforced my firm commitment to the pursuit of the public interest for underrepresented populations, especially with respect to the education of minority children living in poverty. Towards this end, I have also been learning a great deal about women’s issues and human rights in a global context. It is my hope that, especially after someday earning the PHD degree, that I will prove myself over the course of my lifetime to be a determined and very vocal advocate of those who have no voice.
My own pursuit of the finest education possible has been one challenge after another, beginning with my being chosen to attend a special high school for gifted students far from my home, seeing my family only once a year. Yet, in my hometown, there were no classrooms equipped with big-screen computers and from the beginning I dedicated myself to learning all that I could as a result of my special privileges, so that I could someday return and help those left behind in my village. By learning how to become the most powerful advocate possible for minority groups generally speaking, I will have the optimal platform for doing all that I can for my own people in the future, the Uyghurs. Justice for the Uyghurs is still a long way off, but I am pleased to be part of our solid beginnings, laying the foundation for our long struggle come.