International Studies major Emily Crain-Castle is the 2019 recipient of the Ian Elliot Memorial Scholarship! Emily reflects on how she intends to utilize her scholarship to further improve her international education:
“Throughout my personal experiences, I have worked with many under represented individuals in leadership roles. I was employed at a summer camp working with inner city children, and every one of them truly changed my life. This personal experience motivated me to dedicate my life to working with these individuals.
As I have advanced through my undergraduate career, I have come to recognize that the racism and inequalities are not only present in interpersonal actions but integrated into policy and governance at the institutional level. To understand this community domestically, I believe I must educate myself on this marginalized community from its roots internationally throughout Africa. While I have been exposed to the concept of institutional racism, I have yet to learn deeply about the historical roots of the issue and how these laid the foundation for present-day inequalities. Given my international focus, I would like to explore this topic on the African continent. Specifically, the colonial legacy and present-day western paternalism in development initiatives.
As my world view has expanded, I begin to see the flaws within the educational system not only in the United States but globally. I also say that the linear explanations for these flaws were not only incomplete, but perpetuating inequality and oppression at the institutional level. I see that to change the system that brought us to this way of thinking, you must change the way knowledge is produced. My goal is to make connections across different development sectors addressing gender inequalities, racial disparities, and poverty. I want to examine these various sectors to see how they interconnect to influence a major part of our system—education. I want to create knowledge based on the needs of local communities have an influence both at the individual and policy level. I want to be the voice that can speak with marginalized communities instead of for them. I believe what affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We can only be human together.
My dream is to pursue comparative research positions for the United Nations, the Department of Education, or a non-profit that prioritizes the youth. Specifically, my goal is to work for UNESCO. I want to improve the education system for kids in less developed countries, as well as in the United States. I believe that to achieve my goals I must understand how the system operates internally and externally. I believe that going to Africa this winter I can learn so much more about this world and myself. I plan to intern in Ghana or Kenya and work on various volunteer projects related to, Youth Development, teaching, NGO Management, human rights, and women empowerment. Thanks to the Ian Elliot Memorial Scholarship my dream to intern in Africa is now a reality. “