Since my last report I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many new people and learning so many new things that it’d be impossible to write them all down here. The last two semesters have been a positive experience overall, both in and outside the lecture halls. I have taken quite a few pre-med classes (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.) as well as my first ever Portuguese course this spring. This past semester I was intrigued by a course that evaluated the United States’ health care system and the clash of ideas it entailed. Its title - “Health Care for All” - left no doubt over the course’s motives; its this ingrained bias that drove me to leave my comfort zone of presupposed beliefs and seek different, challenging opinions. It is this exposure that has led me to re-examine my beliefs and opinions; to make them more consistent with and anchored by my values. Over the past year I have also gotten the chance to volunteer at a local homeless shelter, Craig’s Doors, which is right under the church I go to on Sundays. Both upstairs and downstairs, I was lucky enough to meet people invested in improving the community. From classes to clubs to service organizations, this past year I have grown as a person and am truly grateful for the opportunity to have done so. On a closing note, I’d like to thank all those who have contributed to MVYouth and supported me - I couldn’t be more proud to represent the Vineyard and MVYouth here at Amherst.
My first semester at UMass Amherst has been a great experience and in hindsight attending UMass Amherst was the right choice. I have met some fantastic people from all sorts of backgrounds that have really given me a perspective on the opportunity that I have here. Not only are the people great but the resources and opportunities to explore are exceptional as well. I’ve been able to make a lot of new friends and learn a little more about the majors I can declare after attending club meetings and Peer Advisory sessions. My classes have been going well. I have been thoroughly engaged and challenged, especially in our readings of Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. In such a big campus I have found many places and resources to help me with my classes and with settling in. I have had the pleasure of learning with some really interesting people. I am set on the Pre-Med track and that just leaves the question of what I’ll be doing for my major. I have been able to narrow my search but I still want to take the time and choose the area that speaks the most to who I am. The good news is the Pre-Med track allows for basically any major and that I have time to choose. My time at UMass Amherst has been really enjoyable and I cannot thank MV Youth enough for this amazing opportunity!