I hope to be selected for a Public Interest Scholarship because I am from one of the world's most disadvantaged peoples or nations. I have demonstrated that I can meet my challenges due to my steadfast determination. I feel that I have shown commitment and have enormous potential for improving the lives of vast numbers of people for generations, as an education specialist and minority-group advocate, particularly concerning my people, the Uyghurs.
Now a permanent resident of the USA, I was born and raised in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. Uyghurs are one of the most significant ethnic minorities in China. In my hometown, most people are farmers, and most live in poverty. Most Uyghur children drop out of school early because their families cannot afford school expenses, and child labor is needed on the farm. Uyghur girls, my particular long-term focus, rarely achieve much formal education. 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 not to be discriminated against regarding 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 could not purchase their notebooks and pens. Her female students often came to our home to read since they could not read books at home. From infancy, my mother taught me to help the less fortunate, especially innocent, defenseless, minority children and girls. Here in America, I have worked as a community social worker and care coordinator for NYC Health, serving in various NYC hospitals. I have also volunteered at schools and homes for the elderly. My work and volunteer experiences have reinforced my firm commitment to concern myself with the public interest of more than a million Uyghurs; Toward this end, I have also been learning a great deal about global women’s issues and human rights. I hope to earn a Ph.D. someday which will help me to be an effective and very vocal advocate for those who have no voice, especially my people, the Uyghurs.
My pursuit of the finest education possible has been one challenge after another, beginning with my being chosen to attend a particular high school for gifted students far from my home and seeing my family only once a year. Yet, there were no classrooms equipped with big-screen computers in my hometown. From the beginning, I dedicated myself to learning all that I could due to my special privileges so that I could someday return and help those left behind in my village. By learning how to become the most potent advocate for minority groups, generally speaking, I will have the optimal platform for doing all that I can for my more than a million 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 to come.