Side Hustle: 27 Scholarships to Jumpstart Your Fall Semester

Make sure you start your fall semester right with these scholarships!

Last Minute Opportunities:

The ExpressVPN Future of Privacy Scholarship- August 31

Write a short 300-400 word essay about how government surveillance on internet activity would affect us. Open for high school, undergrad, and grad students. One reward for $5,000.

Kabbage Entrepreneurs Scholarship- August 31

Write an essay of 750 words or fewer summarizing your business plan for your existing business or one you’d like to start. Open to undergrad and grad students. One reward for $1,000.

Make Me Laugh Scholarship– August 31

Describe an incident in your life that’s funny or embarrassing in 250 words or less. One reward for $1,500.

Continue reading “Side Hustle: 27 Scholarships to Jumpstart Your Fall Semester”

Happy (Almost) Summer!

After a spiritually and emotionally challenging semester I’m glad to say I’m back and ready to continue this journey that is my blog! I type this as I’m currently in Madrid currently taking study abroad courses, something that I’ve been speaking into existence since a couple of months ago and still can’t believe is actually happening. It’s already been one week and while I miss New York I’m extremely grateful for everyone who helped me get to this position: I wouldn’t be here without your help!

I haven’t had the time to update Wavy Girls as I prepared for finals and this program, but my routine has not been the same since I have not been able to share such powerful stories! I have really missed writing about strong and influential women of color and can attest to the fact that your stories add a little spring to my step. Because I love hearing about intelligent and inspirational girls and their personal experiences so much I’d like to announce a new feature that’s been added on the blog (which is slowly but surely being worked on). I’m really exited to say that you can now give a shout-out to someone in your life who you think embodies the definition of a Wavy Girl and should be spotlighted for the world to see! All you have to do is go to the Wavy Girls homepage, click on the Shoutout link on the top-right corner, and fill out the submission form. It’s really that simple to recognize someone for all the good deeds they do for their community, and I’m sure they’d appreciate the fact that their work is being noticed.

While I believe that announcement is the highlight of this blog post I’d also like to take a moment to share some of the wisdom I’ve learned and some I keep having to remind myself about every day.

1. Nourish your mind and body

While this may seem obvious I cannot stress enough how often I have to remind myself to put my physical and mental health first before anything else. Be kind to yourself and know when you need to take a break. Be comfortable with the fact that it is okay to take care of yourself first, even if that means putting an urgent task to the side for a moment. There is no single assignment, errand, or business that is more important than your well-being. You are a human, not a robot.

2. Be honest with yourself

This applies to every single facet of your life, from academia to relationships. Think hard before you take on an additional responsibility when you’re already struggling to find a balance in your life, or before you allow a toxic person back into your life. Remember the last time you made a mistake and learn from it, do not repeat it again. It will hurt but you must face the facts and be real with yourself. Will you really be happy if you do that? Do you know sometime down the road you will regret doing it?

3. Never take no for an answer

This became my new motto this semester, and living by this not only got me to Spain but it allowed me to start Ritmo at NYU (the first Latin dance team) and to get further ahead in my academics both inside and out of the classroom. There’s a saying that goes “If you want something, work for it. If you don’t get it, work harder,” and it couldn’t be any more true. Whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve, make it happen. Be consistent and talk to the right people. Talking to people is the key! If you have to persuade others to believe in your vision, sell it like you mean it.

4. … but accept when something is not for you.

I’ve talked about rejection on here before and how while it can be demoralizing it is an essential part of the process. You cannot succeed if you do not fail, but if you do not succeed that does not mean you failed. If you know you fought a good fight and tried your absolute best but were still rejected, accept the fact that it was probably not for you but know that there is something better on the horizon. Not everything is meant for you, and that’s not bad. In fact when something better comes along you’ll look back and be grateful your vision wasn’t clouded by that one rejection.

 

This post is all over the place, but I cannot wait to get back to sharing consistent stories and advice as I become used to this new environment in Spain. Do not forget to take a look at the new feature, and give a shout-out to someone who you know deserves it! Until next time!

For Every Accomplishment There are Five Failures: Reflecting on These Past Two Weeks

It is spring break but it is still snowing here outside of La Guardia Airport after New York’s snow storm of the year. How I was able to reschedule my flight after having had it cancelled is beyond me, but I am more than ready to finally go home to Houston to see my family and unwind after some of my most hectic few weeks. You haven’t heard from me in a while because a lot of stuff has been going on in my life right now. I’ve been blessed with many new opportunities but have also faced even more failures, however if you know me you know I don’t accept defeat. Though I am still recovering from midterms I am eager to share with you all where I’m currently at and where I expect I will be headed.

Continue reading “For Every Accomplishment There are Five Failures: Reflecting on These Past Two Weeks”

Wavy Girls Spotlight: Diana Lee Guzmán

One of my strongest beliefs that drives me towards achieving every goal I set and every action I take towards success is that as a woman I am capable of performing at the same level and capacity as my male counterparts, if not even better. I’ve never associated my gender with my potential and my greatest desire is that this mindset will one day be the default, and that as women of color we won’t have to face the higher degree of discrimination that comes with both identities. Although women constitute for half of the total diploma-holding workforce the sad reality is that they only make up 29% of the engineering and science workforce; to make it worse, less than 10% of these women come from racial minority backgrounds (source). Our Wavy Girl Diana Lee Guzmán however does not feel defeated by these statistics for she has been a leader on campus for other Xicanas who are breaking the glass ceiling in STEM fields.

Diana grew up in a predominantly Latinx and low-income region in Phoenix, AZ and is now a junior studying Computer Science at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering. While she was very involved on campus during her four years at Carl Hayden Community High school- partaking in extracurriculars such as StuGo, Class Club, Volleyball, Basketball, Cheer, and Softball- it was the Robotics Team that really impacted her high school experience and made her aware of her love and strength in math and technology, eventually influencing her career choice. After much convincing by her mentor Ledge Diana became exceedingly involved in the Robotics team as a senior. Feeling inspired and nurtured by her mentor’s encouragement she felt as if she should pursue Mechanical or Civil Engineering, but as soon as she began college she saw an opportunity to explore and experiment with programming and ultimately decided on Computer Science.

She was just recently in Shanghai taking an NYU course sponsored by Google Ventures and ACCESS Health China, will participate in a The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Hackathon, and is constantly raising awareness through social media on issues affecting her community. Diana’s adventurous and daring personality and curiosity set her apart from the rest, and her dedication to represent her heritage while flourishing academically and professionally is admirable; she is unstoppable. I feel honored to have Diana as a peer here at NYU and to have interviewed her, and I only hope you all feel as inspired and reinvigorated reading her answers as I did.

Continue reading “Wavy Girls Spotlight: Diana Lee Guzmán”

Why I Am Actually Not “Lucky” To Be A Minority, and Debunking Other Privileged Misconceptions

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been told “Wow, you’re so lucky you’re Hispanic and your parents don’t make that much money, you must qualify for, like, so many scholarships,” I wouldn’t actually need the scholarships. What I hear is “Hey, you don’t receive the same opportunities and privileges as I do so it must me great to receive a stepping stool to reach barely half of what I am able to!” Newsflash: that stepping stool is not some free gift that’s just handed to you. For some reason non-marginalized people believe some degree of oppression and inequality buys you a pass to an easy life, a notion that slaps me on the daily and that I’ve yet to understand. By attributing our success to our identities you invalidate our efforts and insult our struggle.

Let me tell why I’m actually not lucky to be a minority/low-income/first generation immigrant/student, but before I do that let me tell you about the people who belittled my choices in colleges I was applying to because I was “aiming too high,” insinuating skepticism towards my abilities and in turn causing me to doubt myself. Let me tell you about the number of colleges that rejected me because of my resident status and intentionally denied me an opportunity based on something that was out of my control.Let me tell you about the nights I spent quietly crying in the bathroom trying to determine how exactly I was going to pay for college when I knew my parents were virtually unable to contribute even a small percentage. Let me tell you about the complete hopelessness I felt when trying to learn how to fill out the FAFSA and other important forms because I had nobody to teach me how to interpret and duplicate the information on my parents’ tax returns.

Let me tell you about how I can’t even decipher what I’m typing right now because recalling every obstacle I’ve been faced with and continue to face brings tears to my eyes because it’s just not fair. We’ve never asked to be put in this situation of adversity. We’ve never asked to take on so much responsibility at such a young age and with such a lack of direction. We’ve never asked to be placed in a perpetual state of uncertainty about things that our peers don’t even have to think twice about, but I’m supposed to believe I’m “lucky.”

Continue reading “Why I Am Actually Not “Lucky” To Be A Minority, and Debunking Other Privileged Misconceptions”

You’re an Adult… Now What?

If you’re like me and get yourself stuck in a lot of tricky situations your first resort is to look for an adult, but at this point in life I’ve come to realize that I am an adult. With this realizations comes the fact that the world does not revolve around me and I have to take responsibility for all of my actions and their respective repercussions. Sad, I know! With that being said I also have all the freedom in the world to finally engage in my interests and pursue what I’ve always wanted to do, so I guess being 20 isn’t as scary as it seems to be. It’s time for us wavy girls to leave our comfort zones and discover what the world has in store for us and what baggage should be permanently left behind.

You always used to say “When I grow up, I want to do so and so and be so and so.” Well, guess what? You’re a grown up now; have you met all those lofty dreams you proposed as an idealist 7-year-old who also believed Lindsay Lohan had a real twin in The Parent Trap? I’m not saying all those dreams were idle desires derived from having a wild imagination; there certainly had to be some realistic and fully manageable goals that are not too late to reach, and it is also never too late to create new ones. Do not, however, confuse these goals with temporary tasks. The goals I’m talking about are those that you continuously contribute to and that will lead you to the life you’ve always wanted to achieve, and that not only look good on a resume or when introducing yourself to a colleague or at a party but that also factor into your happiness and well-being.

Continue reading “You’re an Adult… Now What?”

Why Wavy Girls?

I’ve practiced my elevator speech at least a hundred times and yet I still never know how to introduce myself, but I always start out with the fact that I’m a Latina; it’s something I have so much pride for and that has defined every step of my trajectory. My parents and I moved to Houston from Mexico when I was really little. I am a low-income student and the first in my family to attend college in the united states, yet I still moved hundreds of miles away from home to attend New York University aka one of the most expensive institutions in the United States. Wait… what? Those things don’t correlate much at all, right? I always saw college education as a luxury and with that price tag I thought it was nearly unattainable in my case. Nearly.

Raised in an immigrant family you always feel a strong responsibility to contribute as much as you can at home. I was too little to get a job so I took agency over the only thing I had complete control over: my education. I was determined to go above and beyond the expectations my parents set and I understood that one day in the future my academic endeavors would allow me to pay my parents back for all the sacrifices they’ve made. Imagine thinking all of this at an age where all my other peers were solely focused on Lizzie McGuire and Tamagotchis (which I sadly never had the privilege of owning. Shocking, I know!) In middle school I became fully aware of how difficult it was not being financially secure. Even if my merits warranted invitations to prestigious programs and trips I would feel heavy disappointment when I had to turn these offers down due to my inability to afford them, now imagine turning down an invitation to a friend’s birthday party because you were too hesitant to ask your parents to give you money for a birthday gift. This anxiety pushed me to do some research and figure out what I could do at my age; this is when my Etsy shop, Pofibon, was born. Through YouTube videos I taught myself how to crochet, and in the years following I created a business out of my hobby all while still maintaining straight A’s in school and helping my parents around the house. I owe my work ethic and perseverance to my background, and seeing positive results pushed me to work even harder and do even better than I believed I was capable of doing.

Continue reading “Why Wavy Girls?”