I remember first coming to UW Tacoma thinking this was it. This was going to be the place where I would be able to turn a new leaf in terms of where my life was at.
After years of struggling through severe depression and the constant idea that I will never succeed and meet my parents — or anyone’s expectations — I realized this was not a way to live. As a South Indian Malayalee woman and a first-generation college student, I wanted to break free of the barriers put around me.
Then I discovered that my passion of dance, the arts and media culture in general could be a channel for me to escape, along with the ability to create a difference in the world. It took me several years to come to this conclusion as to what I wanted to do in life, and finally — after a constant mental battle with what I really wanted and what others wanted of me — I decided it was time to decide for myself.
I wanted to make an impact, to have my voice heard and be an inspiration to people of a diverse background who feel they cannot make it in the world — and I felt by utilizing the resources, tools and voice of the media, I could.
UW Tacoma granted me that.
This past year, working at The Ledger has brought me that eyeopening experience of what it means to be part of a community. What it means to be amongst peers who respect you and your ideals. What it means to have professors that encourage you to push harder and pursue the dreams we wish to follow.
UW Tacoma was the place that helped me find my voice in writing, and even pushed me to be a voice in the community. This was the place that allowed me to kickstart my blog “Voice of an ABPD,” and challenge social norms and cultural ideals.
This being said, I cannot go without my round of thank you’s to a multi-faceted group of people that came upon my life and allowed me to be a part of theirs:
To my professors: each and everyone one of you have helped me in terms of discovering myself and what it means to be an active person in this society.
Janie Miller & Alison Cardinal
It was because of you two that I got the idea of “Voice of ABPD” to come about, and I thank you. I thank you because it allowed me to be a catalyst of a much needed change in my cultural community.
The simple fact that you believed in me and took the time to listen to what was rambling about in my head meant the world. You encouraged me to pursue and delve deeper into each idea I had. You were there to listen, and for a student, that is what we need. You’ve specifically became a mentor I will never forget in my life, and I hope this fellowship continues.
It was in taking your intro to communications course that got me to change my major in the first place! Who knows where I would have ended up (probably behind some cubicle at a corporate setting). You unlocked this burning desire to further my intellectual studies in the web of mass media and well, for that, I’m forever grateful.
In taking a part of the nonprofit curriculum, I was able to discover the potential of what it means to help others in society and what it means to make a difference with my writing — You’ve even given me the opportunity to do so for an organization. It was through your guidance in this complex world that I realized there is more to be done for organizations.
Though brief, I humbly thank you for all the support you’ve given me in terms of using my voice to activate others in society. You’ve helped me improve as a hopeful-to-be journalist and recognizing value in the words I put out there.
The things I can say about you! You’ve not only become my career cheerleader, but support for the hopes and dreams myself and others students share. The positive light you feed to others is absolutely contagious and I hope to return it all back to you in the circle of life Wonder Woman! I didn’t forget the friends I made here on campus either: you guys made this final year at UW Tacoma memorable.
In the short time I got to know you, you’ve become a tremendous support in everything that had gone on. You listened, you were there and you helped create a lot of beautiful, fun lasting memories that I will never forget.
What can I say, love. You made me up into Princess Jasmine, drawn the cover to the book I plan to publish and have done endless beautiful sketches that I know will take you far! Thank you for being that creative inspiration for all of us to look to.
You are honestly the first person I ever really spoke to on campus, and for that, I thank you. You helped me break free and discover what it means to be in the “now.”
Ever since we had that environmental communications class together, you’ve been my go-to guy for PR/marketing work. On top of that, you accept me for me and I thank you for that.
Thank you for being a wonderful person inside and out. Your personality was an absolute pleasure to hang around with on campus. The visions you have excite me for your future and the future of UW Tacoma!
What to say girl … your thoughts of what is going to come next for The Ledger excite me and I am glad that I got to be a part of it.
Our friendship was indeed a rollercoaster of a ride this year, but it worked. We’ve created a lot of interesting memories together and well, I wish you nothing but happiness.
It is through hope — like many of you — that got me to be where I am at mentally and spiritually, though I admit it was not always that way. But to be my own catalyst for change is what brought me to understand there is more to life than simply reading a textbook, finding a hobby and achieving a career. It’s about making a change — making an impact in those that helped cultivate us to be the person we are today.
With this being said, I leave this wonderful place with hope of a better, brighter future for all of us. It is too often where we look outside for the heroes to admire, but I see them right here among us. All have the potential to be the catalyst for change — it is up to each and every one of us to make that happen. It’s time to be bold, to take risks, to say we can and we did — and most importantly — to always and forever be humble and gracious from where it is we came from.