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Grove Farm Scholar

Mayumi Fulgencio

2019 Grove Farm Scholar

Mayumi Fulgencio

Lewis and Clark College in Oregon

Environmental Studies

What motto best describes your outlook on life?

“What’s the world for if you can’t make it up the way you want it?” -Toni Morrison

This motto really reminds me of the many important life lessons I have learned thus far. It is a humbling reminder that we cannot expect the world to be kind to us if we do not release kindness back. We cannot expect results if we do not put in the work; we cannot prosper without drive. Toni Morrison emphasizes that we control what happens and comes our way in our lives, only if we take that initiative.

What has being awarded the Grove Farm Scholarship meant to you?

Throughout my childhood, college was such a big goal. It’s where I knew I wanted to go and create more opportunities for learning and growth. As I grew older, the reality of my family’s financial situation had shown itself to me, where it started to look more like a dream rather than “the next step.” During high school, it became more and more daunting with the competition of scholarships and grants, which I knew would be the only possible way to afford an education. That made me work extra hard to round myself out as an individual and to excel wherever I put my mind to. Seeing the upperclassmen, previous Grove Farm scholars, I knew what kind of students and community members they were. Never in a million years did I think I could even be grouped in the same category as them. Having awarded the scholarship broke down all those insecurities and fears that I had carried with me for so long. I realized that I have what it takes to do anything I want, and if I currently do not, I have the passion and drive to get where I need to be. Honestly, I am still shocked to this day. Still, I take it as an important lesson to look toward the future and the countless opportunities I intend on pursuing.

What have you learned about yourself while you’ve been away?

I learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. I feared to be away from home and facing full-blown independence from time management to what I ate in a day. But with each day, with every person I mustered up the courage to talk to, every class I step foot in and raised my hand to speak, every check I received from work-study jobs. I learned that I am more than capable of what I am tasked to do in college: to grow and learn about myself and the world we live in. I faced many challenges and moments of darkness. Still, I ultimately learned that I have always had the tools to overcome them.

What drives you?

My biggest drive in life is my family. They have done so much in their lifetime just in sacrifice to be where I am today, and I dream of giving back to them no matter what it takes. I prosper off the fact that I am my mother and father’s daughter. If anyone knew their strength and hardworking nature, I can only pray that I inherited just a fraction
of it.

What gives you hope for the future?

I am incredibly proud of my generation and what we have accomplished, given the climate of today’s world. Yeah, we make mistakes, but we know how to fix them...we are too young to be set in our ways and always looking to be better than who we were yesterday. If those are the people that I will be surrounding myself within the workplace, schools, community. I cannot wait to see the change we make for a brighter, kinder world.