JEANNETTE K. WATSON FELLOWSHIP
Name: Cadero Smiley
Date: December 4, 2011 Application Essay #2 Question: The Watson Fellowship encourages Fellows to move outside of their “comfort zone.” Briefly describe your “comfort zone,” focusing on the world beyond family life, and then describe an instance in which you moved outside of your “comfort zone.” In 2003, Together with fellow classmates we formed an Activism group, bearing our high school name. With a plethora of issues to confront, we reached consensus on increasing school funding, focusing on the C.F.E (Campaign for Fiscal Equity), a lawsuit that would mandate N.Y state to deliver, a much needed, $9.2 billion in capital funding to public schools. As a member of this group I organized focus groups, presented data to Harvard University, Chicago University, Brooklyn College’s facility, and students, all which moved me further out of my comfort zone. Before I left on my trip to Albany, New York I was more jittery than I have ever been. I was about to exchange my amiable cozy home for a hotel room and attempt things that I had never thought of doing. In addition to that, I was going to do these things with people I have never even met and I would be in a place that I had never been before! On the bus, I was thinking about what the other activists were going to be like and what this journey would involve. I distinctly remember being scared of being on the bus alone not knowing what the situation would be like. Everyone who gets exposed to new situations get a feared and certain anxiousness arises. But there was a legitimate reason for my anxiety: I would be leaving my “comfort zone “and "safety net". Personally my understanding of leaving my comfort zone meant getting away from the things that I normally did, exploring an unexplored world. It was about meeting new people, doing new activities, talking with city representatives, signing up people to vote, and wearing the same clothes...
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