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  • QUESTBRIDGE APPLICANT INFORMATION

  • QuestBridge Applicant Name: Jamora Arroyo-Jefferson

    QuestBridge ID: 534218107

    Submission Date: 09/26/2023

     

     

  • QUESTBRIDGE APPLICATION QUESTION RESPONSES

  •  

    What are your career goals and how did you develop them? [400 characters or less]

    My career goals stem from my love of nature and the desire to protect our environment. I want to pursue work that combines my passion for creative design with my interest in STEM and environmental sustainability. I hope to build environmentally sustainable habitats here on Earth and - one day - in outer space.

     

    Ultimately, I want my career to have a positive impact on our global community.

     

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  • Tell us about one of your proudest achievements or moments and what it says about you. [200 words or less]

    Recently, I took my first official scuba dive off the coast of Miami, Florida during my school’s Marine Field Research class.

     

    This act is one of my proudest achievements because it represents a personal triumph in overcoming my long-held fear of swimming in the ocean. Additionally, this accomplishment is pursuant to my goal of obtaining my PADI® Open Water Diver Certification once I have completed three additional dives.

     

    I was not always afraid to swim in the ocean. A horrible snorkeling incident when I was younger made me hesitant to ever again enter the water any deeper than my calves. However, I am a South Floridian who thoroughly enjoys all types of outdoor activities and that includes spending time at our beautiful local beaches. So, this was a fear that I could not let persist.

     

    Performing that first dive meant that I had broken free from the psychological grip of my traumatic childhood snorkeling experience, proving to myself that I possess within me the fortitude and strength to overcome difficult challenges in order to achieve my goals - like stepping off the platform of a boat while wearing scuba gear and swimming 40 feet deep to the bottom of the ocean.

     

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  • If you could meet a character from a book or a historical figure, who would it be and what would you ask them? [200 words or less]

    When I was younger, my parents would often read to my brother and I a book about historical Black heroes. The story of Bessie Coleman, the first Black female international pilot, always fascinated me.

     

    During the 1920s, race and gender prevented Coleman from obtaining a pilot’s license in the United States, so she enrolled in an aviation school in France. Often called “Queen Bess” and “Brave Bessie”, Coleman had a successful career as an aerial acrobat in Europe and the United States and used her fame to help fight racism and segregation.

     

    Like Coleman, I also desire to fly high above the Earth, but as an astronaut, specializing in the building of innovative environmentally sustainable interstellar habitats. So, if given the opportunity, I would like to ask Coleman if she ever gave any consideration to the fact that her accomplishments would inspire generations of women to pursue careers in the fields of aviation and space exploration. Additionally, I would ask her advice on dealing with issues of race and gender so I can let her words guide me in achieving my own dream of being just like her - a pioneering woman of color.

     

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  • What is your favorite subject to study, and why? [35 words or less]

    Sustainable agriculture is my favorite subject because I marvel at how the food we eat is grown. This will be an important field of study as climate change continues to present challenges for producing crops.

     

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  • What are your favorite books and/or movies? [35 words or less]

    I love watching musicals like “The Sound of Music” and “Hamilton”. Musicals offer me an enjoyable moment of emotional escapism, where I can immerse myself in the melodic sounds of cleverly composed lyrical narrations.

     

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  • What is your favorite source of inspiration? [35 words or less]

    Nature calms my soul and rejuvenates my spirit. It’s also a source of personal inspiration because it is both adaptive and resilient to changes in its environment. These are qualities that would benefit us all.

     

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  • How do you spend a typical weekend? [35 words or less]

    My weekends are usually spent performing volunteer service throughout my community. This commitment is a priority in my life because my parents instilled in me the importance of empowering and uplifting those around us.

     

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  • What compliment are you most proud of receiving and who gave it to you? [35 words or less]

    “You are brave!” is what the Head of School laughingly said about the flowers I wore in my hair. Proud of the compliment, I was “boldly” starting my freshman year at my new high school.

     

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  • After a challenging experience, how do you rejuvenate? [35 words or less]

    I find all crafting to be relaxing and rejuvenating but my favorite activity is crocheting. I spend hours turning balls of yarn into colorful creations, which I often give away to my friends and family.

     

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  • What would you contribute to your future college campus community? [35 words or less]

    I want to be a unifying force on my future college campus by actively engaging with my schoolmates, professors, administrators and the public, thus helping to build strong bonds that benefit everyone in our community.

     

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  • We are interested in learning more about the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations, and accomplished your successes. Please describe how the most influential factors and challenges in your life have shaped you into the person you are today. [800 words or less]

    “I am a high school senior who enthusiastically lives each day to the fullest. I am an artistic spirit who enjoys all things creative. I am a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community who tirelessly advocates ‘Love is Love’. I am a neurodivergent thinker who refuses to let my challenges with dyslexia and dyscalculia hamper my academic success. I am a passionate environmentalist whose future career in STEM will positively impact our global community. I am a role model who is fully committed to ensuring my accomplishments inspire other girls who look like me to achieve their best.

     

    My name is Jamora Arroyo-Jefferson and I am unapologetically me.”

     

    This is what I wrote as the introduction on my personal website - www.jamoraarroyojefferson.com - and what I believe is the most accurate statement that I can provide with regard to “who I am” and “what I hope to achieve in life”.

     

    As the eldest child of my Puerto Rican mother and my African-American father, my younger brother and I have been blessed to grow up in a nurturing household. Our parents are the most influential factors in shaping who we are today and who we aspire to be in the future. Their overwhelming love and unwavering dedication helps me strive to be the best version of myself - continuously learning and growing as a confident, goal-oriented, independent-thinking individual - as well as motivates me to live “each day to the fullest”.

     

    My parents also fostered my creative spirit and artistic expression, which has led me to be the type of person who “enjoys all things creative.” My skills have earned me personal recognitions and professional opportunities like having my creative works exhibited in museums, earning honors at various competitions, and being hired by freelance clients to create engaging multimedia content.

     

    As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I know that I am blessed to have the support of parents who love me unconditionally, regardless of my sexual orientation. Because of their steadfast devotion, I have the courage to openly acknowledge I am “a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community”. Knowing this is not the case for all teens who are like me, I have become a tireless LGBTQ+ supporter who advocates accepting those of all sexualities, gender identities, and gender expressions.

     

    My parents have also helped me navigate the challenges of being a neurodivergent thinker. They have taught me that my dyslexia (difficulty with reading or interpreting words, letters, and other symbols) and dyscalculia (a learning disability in math) are not defects in my character, but rather elements that help to make me special in regard to how I interrupt the world. Thus, these learning challenges will not “hamper my academic success”. Furthermore, I serve as a neurodivergence advocate who encourages the development of inclusive teaching environments that address the needs of all types of learners.

     

    My passion for the environment stems from my family’s love for the outdoors. The desire to protect the beauty our environment led me to participate in numerous sustainability-related causes and organizations. Additionally, I want to pursue a career that combines my passion for creative design with my strong interest in the fields of STEM and environmental sustainability, thus ensuring my future work will “positively impact our global community”.

     

    And, like those pioneering women before me, particularly those of color who have inspired my own dreams, I want to pay it forward by having my accomplishments “inspire other girls who look like me to achieve their best”.

     

    These are all the most influential factors and challenges in my life and the context for how each has shaped me into the person I am today as well as the type of person I aspire to be in the future. This is also why, as I wrote in my website introduction, I am confident in being “unapologetically me”.

     

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  • Inclusivity involves embracing diversity and working to include people with backgrounds and experiences different from your own. Describe an experience where you have played a role in fostering inclusivity. [500 words or less]

    As an LGBTQ+ youth of mixed Latino and Black ancestry, who is a neurodivergent thinker with aspirations of pursuing a career in the male-dominant STEM industry, I jokingly feel that I am the living embodiment of the word “inclusivity”.

     

    In my academic pursuits and professional endeavors, I have often needed to embrace diversity and work to include people with backgrounds and experiences different from my own in order to achieve a specific objective.

     

    An example of a recent experience in which I helped foster inclusivity by reaching out to others occurred during my first year as the President of our school’s Gender and Sexuality Association (GSA). The goal of our club is to promote kindness and the acceptance of people of all sexualities, gender identities, and gender expressions.

     

    Prior to my assuming the leadership of GSA, our club was not widely known by our student body and previous GSA members were - at times - the targets of homophobic remarks.

     

    I wanted to change this situation and knew that personal outreach on my part was the only means by which to achieve this desired goal. I understood that changing the mindset of the student clubs toward engaging with GSA and its members would first need to start with me establishing personal connections with individual student leaders from the other clubs.

     

    I had the idea for GSA to host a big “Trivia Game Show” school assembly event near the end of the school year, whereby teams of students would compete in answering LGBTQ+ trivia questions while on the stage of our school’s auditorium in front of the entire student body. I thought this type of event would be a good vehicle for destigmatizing the negativity felt by some students towards schoolmates who were of various sexual orientations.

     

    I began my outreach efforts at the start of the school year, which allowed plenty of time for me to cultivate solid relationships before our “Trivia Game Show” at the end of the year. My first action was to learn as much as possible about the other student clubs; their mission, the types of events hosted, and the personal interests of their leadership members. Next, I began attending their general meetings and events as well as signed up for any available committee positions - anything that would allow me to get to know the club members and for them to get to know me.

     

    Throughout the course of the school year, my continual efforts to embrace diversity and work to include people with backgrounds and experiences different from my own had achieved my desired outcome. Our “Trivia Game Show” event at the end of the school year was a huge success in more ways than one. By that time, not only had GSA become an active partner with the other student clubs on our campus, but we had also been successful in changing the opinions of our student body about the importance of accepting people of all sexualities, gender identities, and gender expressions. 

     

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  • A full picture of who you are can strengthen your application. In this section, we encourage you to include any additional information or context that will complete your story and help us get to know you better. This could include details you were not able to include elsewhere, such as your relationship to a non-custodial parent, extra medical expenses, or other special circumstances. [400 words or less]

    Over the summer, I built a new personal website - www.jamoraarroyojefferson.com - as a means of providing college admission officers and scholarship organizations with a more robust narrative about my background, accomplishments, and aspirations. This website, along with my LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/jamora-arroyo-jefferson/) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/jamora_n_aj/) social media accounts, represents my attempt to best define “who I am” and “what I am capable of achieving” because I feel that an evaluation based solely on my academic transcript, school GPA and test scores does not provide a full and accurate assessment of my future academic and professional potential.

     

    As I noted on my website - www.jamoraarroyojefferson.com/about#6 - I am a neurodivergent thinker, who has challenges with dyslexia (difficulty with reading or interpreting words, letters, and other symbols) and dyscalculia (a learning disability in math). Though completing certain types of class assignments or tasks might require additional time and/or effort on my part, I refuse to allow these challenges to hamper my academic success.

     

    In fact, I do not view being a neurodivergent thinker as a “problem”, but rather as a “gift” that allows me to share with others my unique interpretation of various types of information. Additionally, being neurodivergent has allowed my artistic expression and creativity to flourish, thus providing me with an ability to quickly process varied situational conditions and then devise insightful and creative solutions.

     

    I credit my parents for teaching me “If you want something bad enough, then you must be willing to do everything possible to earn it.” This is the reason that I have decided to be very open about my neurodivergent issues, not fearing if I am wrongly labeled as “slow” or “dumb” by those who choose not to learn about dyslexia and dyscalculia. My goal is that sharing my personal story of how I navigate these challenges as well as my advocacy efforts to encourage educators to use teaching environments that benefit all types of learners will make it better for others who are also neurodivergent thinkers.

     

    My hope is that directly addressing my neurodivergent challenges through my responses for this application in addition to providing a more robust narrative of my background, accomplishments and aspirations through the building of my website will earn me the opportunity for consideration as a viable scholarship candidate with the partner institutions participating in the QuestBridge College Match program. 

     

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  • A full picture of who you are can strengthen your application. In this section, we encourage you to include any additional information or context that will complete your story and help us get to know you better. This could include details you were not able to include elsewhere, such as your relationship to a non-custodial parent, extra medical expenses, or other special circumstances. [400 words or less]

    Over the summer, I built a new personal website - www.jamoraarroyojefferson.com - as a means of providing college admission officers and scholarship organizations with a more robust narrative about my background, accomplishments and aspirations. This website, along with my LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/jamora-arroyo-jefferson/) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/jamora_n_aj/) social media accounts, represents my attempt to best define “who I am” and “what I am capable of achieving” because I feel that an evaluation based solely on my academic transcript, school GPA and test scores does not provide a full and accurate assessment of my future academic and professional potential.

     

    As I noted on my website - www.jamoraarroyojefferson.com/about#6 - I am a neurodivergent thinker, who has challenges with dyslexia (difficulty with reading or interpreting words, letters, and other symbols) and dyscalculia (a learning disability in math). Though completing certain types of class assignments or tasks might require additional time and/or effort on my part, I refuse to allow these challenges to hamper my academic success.

     

    In fact, I do not view being a neurodivergent thinker as a “problem”, but rather as a “gift” that allows me to share with others my unique interpretation of various types of information. Additionally, being neurodivergent has allowed my artistic expression and creativity to flourish, thus providing me with an ability to quickly process varied situational conditions and then devise insightful and creative solutions.

     

    I credit my parents for teaching me “If you want something bad enough, then you must be willing to do everything possible to earn it.” This is the reason that I have decided to be very open about my neurodivergent issues, not fearing if I am wrongly labeled as “slow” or “dumb” by those who choose not to learn about dyslexia and dyscalculia. My goal is that sharing my personal story of how I navigate these challenges as well as my advocacy efforts to encourage educators to use teaching environments that benefit all types of learners will make it better for others who are also neurodivergent thinkers.

     

    My hope is that directly addressing my neurodivergent challenges through my responses for this application in addition to providing a more robust narrative of my background, accomplishments and aspirations through the building of my website will earn me the opportunity for consideration as a viable scholarship candidate with the partner institutions participating in the QuestBridge College Match program.

     

    - BACK TO TOP -

     

     

  • Inclusivity involves embracing diversity and working to include people with backgrounds and experiences different from your own. Describe an experience where you have played a role in fostering inclusivity. [500 words or less]

    As an LGBTQ+ youth of mixed Latino and Black ancestry, who is a neurodivergent thinker with aspirations of pursuing a career in the male-dominant STEM industry, I jokingly feel that I am the living embodiment of the word “inclusivity”.

     

    In my academic pursuits and professional endeavors, I have often needed to embrace diversity and work to include people with backgrounds and experiences different from my own in order to achieve a specific objective.

     

    An example of a recent experience in which I helped foster inclusivity by reaching out to others occurred during my first year as the President of our school’s Gender and Sexuality Association (GSA). The goal of our club is to promote kindness and the acceptance of people of all sexualities, gender identities, and gender expressions.

     

    Prior to my assuming the leadership of GSA, our club was not widely known by our student body and previous GSA members were - at times - the targets of homophobic remarks.

     

    I wanted to change this situation and knew that personal outreach on my part was the only means by which to achieve this desired goal. I understood that changing the mindset of the student clubs toward engaging with GSA and its members would first need to start with me establishing personal connections with individual student leaders from the other clubs.

     

    I had the idea for GSA to host a big “Trivia Game Show” school assembly event near the end of the school year, whereby teams of students would compete in answering LGBTQ+ trivia questions while on the stage of our school’s auditorium in front of the entire student body. I thought this type of event would be a good vehicle for destigmatizing the negativity felt by some students towards schoolmates who were of various sexual orientations.

     

    I began my outreach efforts at the start of the school year, which allowed plenty of time for me to cultivate solid relationships before our “Trivia Game Show” at the end of the year. My first action was to learn as much as possible about the other student clubs; their mission, the types of events hosted, and the personal interests of their leadership members. Next, I began attending their general meetings and events as well as signed up for any available committee positions - anything that would allow me to get to know the club members and for them to get to know me.

     

    Throughout the course of the school year, my continual efforts to embrace diversity and work to include people with backgrounds and experiences different from my own had achieved my desired outcome. Our “Trivia Game Show” event at the end of the school year was a huge success in more ways than one. By that time, not only had GSA become an active partner with the other student clubs on our campus, but we had also been successful in changing the opinions of our student body about the importance of accepting people of all sexualities, gender identities, and gender expressions. 

     

    - BACK TO TOP -

     

  • Inclusivity involves embracing diversity and working to include people with backgrounds and experiences different from your own. Describe an experience where you have played a role in fostering inclusivity. [500 words or less]

    As an LGBTQ+ youth of mixed Latino and Black ancestry, who is a neurodivergent thinker with aspirations of pursuing a career in the male-dominant STEM industry, I jokingly feel that I am the living embodiment of the word “inclusivity”.

     

    In my academic pursuits and professional endeavors, I have often needed to embrace diversity and work to include people with backgrounds and experiences different from my own in order to achieve a specific objective.

     

    An example of a recent experience in which I helped foster inclusivity by reaching out to others occurred during my first year as the President of our school’s Gender and Sexuality Association (GSA). The goal of our club is to promote kindness and the acceptance of people of all sexualities, gender identities, and gender expressions.

     

    Prior to my assuming the leadership of GSA, our club was not widely known by our student body and previous GSA members were - at times - the targets of homophobic remarks.

     

    I wanted to change this situation and knew that personal outreach on my part was the only means by which to achieve this desired goal. I understood that changing the mindset of the student clubs toward engaging with GSA and its members would first need to start with me establishing personal connections with individual student leaders from the other clubs.

     

    I had the idea for GSA to host a big “Trivia Game Show” school assembly event near the end of the school year, whereby teams of students would compete in answering LGBTQ+ trivia questions while on the stage of our school’s auditorium in front of the entire student body. I thought this type of event would be a good vehicle for destigmatizing the negativity felt by some students towards schoolmates who were of various sexual orientations.

     

    I began my outreach efforts at the start of the school year, which allowed plenty of time for me to cultivate solid relationships before our “Trivia Game Show” at the end of the year. My first action was to learn as much as possible about the other student clubs; their mission, the types of events hosted, and the personal interests of their leadership members. Next, I began attending their general meetings and events as well as signed up for any available committee positions - anything that would allow me to get to know the club members and for them to get to know me.

     

    Throughout the course of the school year, my continual efforts to embrace diversity and work to include people with backgrounds and experiences different from my own had achieved my desired outcome. Our “Trivia Game Show” event at the end of the school year was a huge success in more ways than one. By that time, not only had GSA become an active partner with the other student clubs on our campus, but we had also been successful in changing the opinions of our student body about the importance of accepting people of all sexualities, gender identities, and gender expressions. 

     

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