CHASS Transfer Story Scholarship


Welcome to the CHASS Transfer Story Scholarship Contest and Gallery!

The CHASS Transfer Story Scholarship Contest allows transfer students to share about their identities and experiences. We celebrate art, culture, and experience by giving transfer students an outlet to find unique ways to tell a unique story about themselves. 

Winning pieces will be awarded a $500 scholarship and are featured within our Virtual Gallery

Why participate in the CHASS Transfer Story Scholarship Contest?

After participating in the CHASS Transfer Story Scholarship Contest, students will have an

  • Increase of feeling valued and belonging as a transfer student.
  • Increase in feeling proud of what they have accomplished at UCR.
  • Increase feelings of belief in one's self through hard times.
  • Increase in spending more time in self-reflection.

Kickoff Event

During NTSW October 2022

Contest Timeline

  • October 2022: Kickoff During NTSW & Submissions Open
  • October 17th 2022 - January 27th, 2023: Submission window
  • January 30th, 2023 - February 3rd, 2023: Judging window.
  • February 8th, 2023: Contestants notified.
  • February 2023: Virtual Gallery available!

Contest Guidelines

To participate students must be:

  • A UCR Transfer Student who transferred from the community college or other university*
  • An undergraduate UCR transfer student with a major in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
  • A currently registered student at UCR (enrolled in at least half-time 6-8 units and cannot be withdrawn from Winter & Spring 2023 Quarter’s)

*A UCR  transfer student is a student who was enrolled in a regular session (fall, winter or spring) at a college or university after high school graduation (the exception is if you’re only taking a couple of classes during the summer after graduation), completed at least 60 semester (90 quarter) units of UC-transferable credit, and transferred to UCR.

  • Students must submit a work that addresses an experience which represents their identity and their "strength."
  • Any form of art which can be submitted through a digital platform will be accepted. Examples include: Music, Performance/Acting, Dance, Photography, Digital Design, Story, Comic, Poetry, Slam Poetry (A note: if you do make a physical form of art, such as a painting or sculpture, we will ask that you take a high quality photo(s) to showcase this piece to us. Should the piece be accepted into the Gallery, we will request that it is gifted to the CHASS Transfers F1RST Program).
  • Submissions will be made to the Google Form below and should be no larger than 10GB.
  • Each entry must be submitted with a summary (1 - 2 page double spaced) of how this piece represents your unique story.
  • The summary must include how it represents the contest theme of "strength."
  • Students must be enrolled in the Winter & Spring 2023 quarter’s to be eligible for the scholarship.

NOTE: We recommend reviewing the judging rubric to identify what key elements the committee will be looking for when assessing works and summaries.

Contest Submissions

To participate in the CHASS Transfer Story Scholarship contest, submit your CHASS Transfer Story by filling out this Google Form HERE, no later than January 27th, 5pm PST.

Submit Here

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I participate?

    2022-2023 participation will begin during National Transfer Student Week in Fall 2022. Participants must submit their work via the Google link provided on the website no later than January 27th at 5pm PST.

  • What type of art is allowed for submission?

    All forms of art which can be submitted digitally will be accepted into this competition. Examples include: Music, Performance/Acting, Dance, Photography, Digital Design, Story, Comic, Poetry, Slam Poetry. You can even submit a painting or drawing - just upload a copy to our submission form!

  • What kinds of stories can we represent?

    Your work of art need not be specific to your transfer transition, but about you as an individual transfer student. Choose a story which showcases your identity, and your strength.

  • Is this contest only open to CHASS transfer students?

    Yes, because this competition is focused on the transfer student identity and strength for students with majors in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. As a reminder, a UCR  transfer student is a student who was enrolled in a regular session (fall, winter or spring) at a college or university after high school graduation (the exception is if you’re only taking a couple of classes during the summer after graduation), completed at least 60 semester (90 quarter) units of UC-transferable credit, and transferred to UCR.

  • Can I submit something, but not share it in the Gallery?

    By submitting your piece and summary, you agree to have your art shared on our website. However, in the submission process, you can indicate that you want your piece to be shared anonymously.

  • How and when will the scholarship be granted?

    There will be four winners selected. Winners will receive a $500 scholarship. Scholarships will be awarded for the Spring 2023 quarter (please notify the program if you plan to graduate winter quarter instead of spring).

  • What if I maxed out my financial aid?

    Talk to Financial Aid about if and how this award impacts your financial aid package.

Judging the Contest

We have an amazing group of judges from all around campus who volunteer to review art and summary submissions. A rubric has been created to ensure submissions meet contest criteria:

Judges Rubric

2023 Judges Panel

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Dr. Christina Rogers

Dr. Christina S. Rogers is the Director for CHASS F1RST Programs and an Adjunct Professor for the School of Education at UCR. Dr. Rogers lives in Southern California. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading books, researching, planning events, listening to music, and learning new adventures in life to better herself. She has made a commitment to advocate for students who need support and guidance in their life and is fully determined to help others find their true SUCCESS.  Helping others brings a sense of peace and fulfillment to Dr. Rogers. It gives her great joy to bring and share her experience, knowledge, and leadership skills to teach in universities, present at seminars, workshops, conferences, and attend campus/community events. In addition to Dr. Rogers leadership skills, she is also highly educated. She has received her Doctorate Degree in Education with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University focused on underprivileged students in education. She received her Master of Arts degree in Sociology with a strong concentration in Social Work. She also received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services and Associate of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Dr. Rogers is to a transfer student who believed that working hard and staying dedicated to your goals will pay off. And it did for her. To add to Dr. Rogers many accomplishments, she has received numerous of awards, certificates, nominations, and recognition for her work. Dr. Rogers is an extreme achiever. She is goal-oriented, self-confident, strong-minded, and determined with a winners’ mentality to reach for SUCCESS. She is a true definition of a ROCKSTAR BOSS LADY who never gives up on her dreams.

Jeff Girod
Jeff Girod

Jeff Girod serves as the Assistant Dean of Marketing and Communications for UCR's College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. In his role, he leads all aspects of a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy to promote CHASS programs, people, resources, and events. He is a UCR alum (2010) and a former transfer student from Pasadena City College.

Cova Lamar Prieto
Dr. Covadonga "Cova" Lamar Prieto

Dr. Cova is the Associate Dean of Student Academic Affairs and an associate professor of Hispanic studies and is responsible for the Student Academic Affairs Office. In her administrative role as Associate Dean, she works closely with directors of academic advising and CHASS First to support the academic progress of every CHASS student from matriculation to graduation and post-graduation. In addition, the office is also the home for all those in undeclared and pre-business programs.

Cherryl Love
Dr. Cheryl Love

Bio: Dr. Cheryl Love serves as a Career Specialist for students in the Arts, Humanities, Education & Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside and is Adjunct Faculty for the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Cal Poly Pomona. Dr. Love has 40+ years of experience as a Counselor and Teacher in all four Higher Education systems in California (UC, CSU, Private and Community) as well as the Public School and Non-Profit sector. This breadth of experience has provided her with the knowledge and skills to work with diverse student populations to assist them with identifying their career goals and finding the career path that is a good fit. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies, a Multiple Subject Teacher Credential, a Master’s Degree in Counseling and a Pupil Personnel Service Credential from California State University, Fullerton.   Her Doctorate  is from the University of California, Los Angeles in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Counseling.  Dr. Love is involved in numerous Professional Associations and is currently serving in leadership positions in several organizations.  She is the President for the California Career Development Association and serves as the Co-Chair of the National Career Development Association (NCDA) Committee on Diversity Initiatives and Cultural Inclusion and is on the Planning Committee for the annual Global Conference for NCDA for 2023.  She also serves on the Board of Enhearten as the Vice-president of the organization that works with unseen leaders here and abroad to help them reach their full potential and make a positive impact in their communities.    

Brenda Aragon
Brenda Aragon

Bio: Brenda graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a B.A. in Sociology in 2003. She’s been advising at UCR since 2005 and has assisted students in many different majors within CHASS. In 2017 she transitioned into her current role as Academic Advisor Supervisor and at present supervises the departments of Anthropology, Sociology, History, and the Multidisciplinary Studies Unit. She is proud to be a product of the UC system and genuinely enjoys helping UCR students and working closely with faculty, staff, and the CHASS majors advising team. In her spare time, Brenda enjoys reading, listening to a variety of musical genres, watching superhero movies, and playing video games with her husband and three boys.


  • 1st Place
    Marissa Morgan, Sociology

    This piece of poetry that I submitted represents me, both from the standpoint of the “other” as well as my own internal feelings about myself as a multicultural and biracial individual. I wrote this poem for my Chicano Studies class at UC Davis, where I transferred from. The assignment was for my final project, which instructed that students make sense of their own internal conflict through poetry. As someone who enjoys writing poetry on my own time, this was the perfect opportunity for me to not only write about what I feel, but directly confront my personal struggles with being multicultural as a half Black and half Mexican woman. This piece represents me because upon initial appearance, people perceive me as being solely African American, which is discouraging because I am more than just my appearance, and I desire to be understood in my entirety. Despite my appearance, all I have known my entire life is Latino culture – from family and community, even learning to speak Spanish before I did English.

    This piece represents the contest theme of “strength”, because regardless of the fact that I am judged based on my appearance and sometimes even discriminated against by the very community that I hold so dear to me, I am very much connected to the Latino community. It is sometimes difficult to find common ground between both halves of myself that make me a whole, but I am able to appreciate both “sides” of who I am by learning the history of Mexican and African American people in the United States. This gives me a sense of pride in who I am, and strength in knowing that I am proud of my identity and those similar to me – whether they are Mexican like part of myself, African American, Afro-Latino, or any other combination of the world’s beautiful cultures – and that I can relate to their stories of settling into their own skin. I think being able to not only connect with others on an emotional level, as well as through art, strength is best illustrated.

    Que Viva La Raza

    ¡Que viva La Raza!
    You say it out loud
    ¡Que viva La Raza!
    But I don’t feel proud

    Look down on my skin
    Cause it’s blacker than yours
    Judgmental stares
    In carniceria stores

    You can’t have a quincé, it wouldn’t look right!
    I can’t be celebrated
    Because my skin isn’t bright

    We speak the same language
    And eat the same food
    But you critique my Spanish
    Though I sound just like you

    ¡Échale ganas!
    You say to my face
    But how will I flourish
    If I feel out of place?

    If you come to my casa, it looks just like yours
    La Virgen de Guadalupe
    And white tile on the floors

    ¡Que viva La Raza!
    You say it out loud

    ¡Que viva La Raza!
    But I don’t feel proud

    You’ll never be a Latina
    Time and time again
    You’ll never be a Latina
    Will I ever truly blend?

  • 2nd Place
    Mariah Miller, Psychology

    Video Link:

    Upon transferring to UCR from Riverside City College, I was so unsure what direction or path I wanted to take in terms of school and my career—my direction of life in general. I had a central idea that I wanted to do psychology and somehow incorporate music into it as I have had a change of heart half way through pursuing my major (of psychology). As this stressed me out greatly, I suddenly remembered that I was not on my own, and that I had an array of resources to possibly guide me in the right direction—here at UCR and my peers around me. I chose to share this arrangement of mine, a rendition of my initial flute arrangement I created some years prior, to revisit that drive to achieve something I had when I was in high school. After graduating from high school, I feel I have lost that extended sense of the musical part of me. I didn’t realize how much it’s become a part of me throughout the years until I let it go altogether. It took consistency, dedication, and strength to accomplish my goal of creating this sensitive and detailed arrangement. Originally, this piece “Dance With Me” was created by the film composer Dario Marianelli for the 2012 film Anna Karenina with a full orchestra. One day I decided I wanted to create something that no one ever has before, and rearrange this beautiful piece into all flute parts, an instrument I have been passionate about playing since I was twelve. All flute parts heard are arranged and recorded acoustically played by me. The MIDI instruments: timpani, double bass, and snare drum are virtual but added by me for a fuller encompassing sound to mimic the orchestra in the original. Initially, this project took me nine months to create the notes on a page alone—listening to the original and writing down all the parts, something that I didn’t realize was most meticulous at the time. There were so many days where I wanted to give up on this project because I felt it was too difficult, that I bit off more than I could chew as I was so inexperienced, and that I would find no satisfaction in completing it. I kept going. I kept making changes. I recorded, I mixed, and blended everything together. The first result was my best at the time in 2017. Fast forward, 2022, I sought out to make another recording as I have improved in my abilities to play and produce. Here is the result I am sharing with you. Ultimately, I connect this arrangement to my definition of strength because of all the hours of passion and hard work that went into it. It gave me my sense of belonging again in a creative niche of music. Working on this arrangement for the second time led me to a better understanding of myself in the direction I want to go in college, in my career, and as an individual.

  • 3rd Place
    Meghan Sorenson, Studio Art

    My collage piece titled ‘Stigmata’ relies on the strength of women and makes a point about the realities of woman-hood. The piece is a reference to the story of Judith slaying the general Holofernes. This story has been referenced throughout history and is the subject of one of my favorite pieces by the painter Artemisia Gentileschi. Gentileschi was one of few female painters during the baroque era and faced many hardships. Not only was she discriminated against for her sex, but she faced a difficult trial after her former teacher sexually assaulted her. She was harshly questioned and embarrassed but persisted in her ambition to become a painter. Back in 2017 I was stalked and harassed by a student at my former institution. I was traumatized by the experience resulting in PTSD from the ordeal. I hated going to school after that. Despite the multiple restraining orders that told him to stay away from me, I was terrified every time I went to campus. In the fall of that year I decided I had enough and got the fastest degree so I could leave. I graduated with an associates in Anthropology however this did little to soothe my anxiety. I needed a creative outlet, so I took up my childhood hobby of painting. This did a lot for me mentally, allowing myself not only a creative outlet but allowing me to focus on something beyond my current circumstance. Finally in July 2019 my stalker was convicted of violating a court order and faced consequences for his actions. Despite this, it was hard for me to move on. I felt like my life had been ruined. I didn’t know what to do. Within a year the world had been shut down due to COVID, I had been excused from my retail job and had months to figure out what to do next. I decided to go back to community college. It wasn’t fair that I was forced from the institution because of someone else’s actions. I wanted to leave on my own terms and with a degree I wanted. I started with a simple drawing class and felt like I had finally found my calling. For the next two years I dedicated myself to my degree. Despite the fear, anxiety and grief from losing my grandmother during COVID. I felt like I had gone through the seven levels of hell and was finally where I needed to be. Both myself and Artemisia Gentileschi had won our trials but were made to bear the consequences of a man’s actions. This collage was very therapeutic to make. The hellish background and stigmata wounds on the hands are a recognizable symbol of suffering. The long fingernails and the text indicate the female perspective this piece has. How the suffering of women at the hands of men has never stopped and how our strength is necessary. Not just for survival but we are forced to be strong in order to thrive.

  • 4th Place
    Anya Rallinson, Psychology

    Strength, for me, cannot be defined as the inherit traits that one is born with, but rather the ability and willingness to overcome the obstacles in one’s life. Strength is not the castle one has inherited, but the fortress one builds around themselves with the fortitude and durability to rise above happenstance. One can use their experience in life to build around them, brick by brick, the tenacity to withstand the storm raging around them; this idea was the foundation to my art piece.

    When you glance at my artwork, the one of the first aspects you may notice are the storm clouds brewing and churning around a young woman. This storm is emblematic of the turbulence I have experienced (and continue to experience) in my journey. My life has not been the easiest path to walk; in fact, there were many moments when I considered giving up altogether. I have had serious mental health issues my entire life and some were so severe that I had to drop out of high school at age sixteen. The darkest parts of the storm clouds represent moments like these, carefully contrasted with the lighter greys of all my anxious days waiting for the storm to pass. The two bright and violent yellow bolts of lightning speak to the two major, unexpected strikes in my life as a young woman: my sexual assault and moving out of my unstable household in the dead of night. The strikes that guaranteed to hit their mark no matter what I had built around myself.

    But you will notice, although the young woman’s hair whips around her head, undoubtedly battered by the downpour, she has retained her vibrance and color in spite of it all. Each strand is a different texture, a distinct color, a new way she has evolved to persevere for the sake of herself. The woman’s face is calm and peaceful, despite what crashes down around her. She represents the fact that true strength is built, not given.

  • Honorable Mentions
    Imam Masri, Creative Writing

    I wrote this poem to describe the evolution of the persona as one grows older and goes through important life experiences that may have been hard or painful, but ended up teaching that individual for the better. To me, this piece represents the concept of strength in the sense of emotional growing and newfound maturity. Even though I wrote this poem in a tangible way that can relate to many different struggles and themes, I wrote it specifically about the dissonant depression I had been experiencing for over a year. It all started when I got involved with someone who I shouldn’t have. They were manipulative and deceitful and even resorted to gaslighting. Long story short, this stemmed into so many other bad parts during this time, such as having a broken relationship with my family and distancing myself from our values. Eventually, my academic life went down the drain and spiraled into a complete mess and disaster. Emotionally, I shut myself out and as a result, so many things in my life just fell apart. I remember wishing for months that I wish I could’ve been the same as I was before. The last few lines speak volumes for this notion, because as things got better and I started to heal again, I actually felt reborn. This poem further resonates with the theme of strength because the main moral that it seeks to express overall is that such painful experiences in life end up being lessons for how we could not only improve ourselves personally, but how to change our mindsets and attitude for the future so that we can assure we could never get hurt in the same way again.

    Broken Mirror

    Long ago, when I looked in the mirror,
    I would see my reflection
    But then strong winds of a dark storm came and broke my mirror
    Leaving me with nothing but these shattered pieces of glass
    I can’t see me
    All I see is a shape
    A shape and color that I don’t know
    A stranger who can’t be stranger
    since his face doesn’t show

    I feel nothing.
    I see nothing.
    I sense nothing.
    Everything was black, white, and grey
    Like the clouds without rain that filled my days
    But those days are over
    The sun shines and brings freedom

    So now I pick up the shattered pieces and fix my mirror
    I longed to see me
    But I see someone better
    He’s smarter, stronger
    He has my smile and eyes
    And the small hint of my innocence that remains
    Although no longer a stranger, I still see someone that I don’t know

    But at least it’s me 

    Daniel Miranda, Sociology and Education

    The emphasis of this piece is to showcase the many challenges and situations that have plagued my transition into a 4 year university. Many complications have risen during my quest for academic accomplishment and having to enter a new environment to not only myself but my bloodline is no easy task. This poem is really a pouring out of my frustration, challenges, and anguish while transitioning to UC Riverside. While facing these issues I remember all of the similar problems that I faced physically, mentally, bureaucratically, and spiritually during my time as a community college student, which was also a new experience for my bloodline. Those experiences have given me a foundation to tackle this transition to university. There have been challenges that can be classified as “just a part of life” throughout this journey that were influenced by my transitions. These challenges include the sacrifice of leaving loved ones and safe spaces for a hopeful voyage focused on self development. It is safe to say that my world has been turned upside down and I have despised this aspect of my life. Through these challenges, U have adjusted, learned more about preparation, knowing my rights, and understanding my potential purpose in this world.

    I have refused to quit, although I have taken a few breaks in education along the way. The experiences during the breaks taught me alot of what I wanted my life to be. My motivation is not having to be in the same situations as before in regards to employment status, qualifications and opportunities. During these breaks the fantasy of being a Sociology professor chased me frequently and now I am here again holding on to its tail with my feet on the trail.

    This fantasy or dream has put in a lot of miles so far because I had to move away from my homeland. Before transferring to UC Riverside, I was already living on my own and independent. The transition to moving from Los Angeles to UC Riverside was reminiscent of when I left my parent’s home years ago. This time I am not a quick drive away from my parent’s, my siblings, our dogs, and the many places that sheltered me. It pains me to have to abandon my loved ones, I know it’s not just me feeling this. This condition is one that fuels my urgency to complete my education. I know that life comes to an end and loved ones fade away. I also know that life events tend to create distance between nuclear family members, but with my education and future opportunities, I can make sure that those distances can be easily traveled for us. So I tarry on and am focused on completing my task.

    I am a first generation American, community college student, and university student. I have no role models to look to for guidance in this sector. Being a product of underserved schools, there is not much knowledge for me to depend on and that means that resources can be easily left on the table. I refuse to let that happen and I refuse to not take full advantage of my opportunities. I also know that being a nontraditional student, there can be a lot of misunderstanding and misconceptions of who I am. My focus is to tell my story and let others know that their story is valid. That we don’t all need to come from the same places to reach our final destination of completing our education. I also have to advocate that I already own this opportunity of attending a university and it’s for me to drive as far as I can take it. My key point is that the dreams we have for our future don't have to be fantasies. Our goals and aspirations can very much become reality. I know that being a university graduate and Sociology professor is in my deck of cards and not something to daydream about at a day end job. I know that the accomplishment of my dreams will shoot stars into the sky that will grant the many wishes of other poor children like myself.

    As a former community college employee, I understand how being worth one’s salt can benefit a generation. Working with students at Compton Community College, I understood that my performance and accessibility makes the difference in their education. Within the interactions with students I found the opportunity to find strength for all of us. I was able to see their fantasies of attending college and earning degrees come true, and that was very satisfying. It reminded me of my journey and how I had a story that had pages left to write. I understood that this journey makes us stronger and that we are strong enough to get it done. We’re strong enough to make it good anywhere and that will continue to be the case forever.

    Transfer Strength.

    My name is Daniel Miranda
    And I am a transfer student
    To be a transfer student
    An individual must be strong
    Strong enough to endure the change
    To face your world being turned upside down
    To have to voluntarily leave all that you have built
    To feel as the wind picked you up
    Dragged you from your home
    And placed you somewhere you must make yours
    You must not quit
    You must continue walking
    No matter the situation
    You must refuse to lose

    I am strong
    But what is strong about me?
    To have to tell my mother
    That her child will no longer be at her reach
    To know that the critters that love you in your homeland
    Must hope and pray for your safety and return
    That you first thought is survival
    And your focus is success

    For a first generation transfer
    It’s to discover something that is entirely new
    To feel lost and know that you must find the path
    So that the earth does not swallow you whole
    To ask for help and hope someone answers your call
    And if no one does
    Then you must make it happen
    And you can’t turn to your loved ones
    To plea for advice
    But you have their support
    Although you need more than support
    You wake up knowing that you must leave
    Footprints that have never been laid before

    To step into this battle
    That is strength
    To have done what it takes to get here
    That is strength
    To be a transfer
    You are strong
    To leave a guide for those that wish to join you
    They will inherit your strength

    To refuse money being taken from your table
    To ache but continue
    To cry and sob on the trail
    To feel the rage of being misunderstood and mistreated
    To advocate for yourself
    To correct misconceptions
    To claim ownership of your education

    To understand why it is so vital to be worth your own salt
    Due to the many shortcomings of those you depend on
    This is you becoming stronger than waves
    Stronger than the ocean
    You face the challenges head on
    You roll your tide back
    You grow and claim possession of the shore
    Sands of education and opportunity

    Being a transfer
    I aspire to learn
    I accept the changes
    I cry
    I feel all of the emotions
    My heart and mind feel stronger than before
    I understand that I must become stronger
    That these resources will know me
    And I will learn how to succeed
    My name is on the check
    And i'm coming to cash it
    This opportunity is mine

    I refuse to lose
    No matter what bites or scratches me
    Bruises cannot stop me
    My blood is flowing
    I am alive
    I've already earned it
    And I refuse this experience becoming a fantasy
    This will be a memory in my reality
    And my reality will be full of riches
    Full of opportunities
    And my footprints will only become larger


    Step by step
    One after another
    As another one steps on this showcase of strength
    The world will know that we are strong
    That we refuse to just be dust to be forgotten
    To refuse our stories being told
    That no matter how difficult this gets
    We can do it
    We did it
    We are strong, We are smart, We are beautiful
    And our dreams will not remain fantasies

    Jason Nguyen, Theatre, Film, Television Production

    This story I’m submitting is a story I’ve held on my pocket for some time not only for its theming - it being how I tried to apply for a UC before I got to transfer to UCR, but despite its focus on two characters, really displays a lot of my uniqueness there. The character of Elaine expressed the frustration of life: that despite doing activities that an average overachiever would do still be a position of loss. An obstacle that I had when I was applying to the UCs and Cal States was that despite getting into an Internship and joining climbing the ranks of a decent club no one expected one to join, my grades were just that low that the Applications team looked past me. In a weird way despite the narrative not explicitly saying it, Elaine represented the strength of needing to develop priorities for the fundamentals and the areas that did matter more before spending time elsewhere. David on the other hand represented the challenge of an unusual upbringing and the circumstances of my conditions since birth that I had to rise beyond; which is something he does momentarily near the end and I definitely did.

    The ending, while negating the theme of “strength” is there due to a level of realism, just because one works hard and finds their strength at one moment or in the past doesn’t mean. Very realistically, that strength wasn’t enough at the time to ever be enrolled in a UC. But it’s because I learned to some degree what occurred then that got me in UCR now. I got in because I had this background of joining and contributing to groups as well as (perhaps) society in a distinct manner behind me. That, and I knew how to express it enough to at least gain the attention of a few people. My strength, while hidden underneath subtext, is that I knew that I needed to put everything I had into the application to transfer; this decently distinct upbringing of mine that I could tell uniquely and more importantly in my own way and showcase how that affected everybody. But also be determined and hyped up to a fault. Because if I wasn’t, much like any dangerous stunt, I would get hurt and thus guarantee myself a rejection.

    Rahul Sharma, English

    I feel that people often see strenght as physical instead of internal. It's easy for a character to be seen as 'strong' if they can lift mountains like Superman. I wanted to explore a more exitenstial strenght with this story. How do we push onwards to hope when there is nothing else. I wanted to show that strenght is ultimately an internal battle. One is forever finding out and understanding who they are. As long as they are alive, they will continue to keep searching for it. That for me is what strength is.