Every so often, we highlight the importance of student scholarships by introducing you to the very students they help to succeed. Today, we’re featuring Kaitlyn Golden, a senior psychology major who is also a Shattuck Family Entrepreneurial Scholarship recipient. This scholarship was established to recognize and celebrate outstanding UMBC students who have demonstrated an interest in entrepreneurship, high academic potential and drive, and an exceptional value system and commitment to the community.
Name: Kaitlyn Golden
Grad year/major: May 2014, psychology
Affiliation: Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program, Honors College
Q: Why did you decide to attend UMBC?
A: My sister attended UMBC, and so I wanted to do something different. But with encouragement from my family, I took a tour during the fall of my senior year in high school and really liked the campus. When we got to Academic Row, I saw the library pond and the green trees arching overhead, and I remember thinking, “Wow, I could definitely go here.” I’ve always felt really fond of Academic Row and the library pond ever since then – they helped change my mind about UMBC, and helped me appreciate the school’s beauty.
That spring, I found out I’d been accepted into the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program and the Honors College, and so I knew then that I was definitely going to go to UMBC.
Q: What’s been the most amazing discovery you’ve made so far as a student here?
A: People here at UMBC are boundlessly generous and giving of their time, energy, wisdom and patience. From my peers, mentors and professors, I’ve learned about many different social justice issues. My most amazing discovery was how students can make change in the world, and from this, I realized my own personal power and strength. This year, I have also realized how, in so many ways, we are not isolated beings; we need the support of people who love us to move forward.
A: While most students were using the scholarship during the spring semester to complete internships, I interned during the summer. I spent five weeks working at a non-profit in Baja California, Mexico. Prior to my internship, during the spring semester, I attended three speaker sessions sponsored by the Alex. Brown Center. All Shattuck recipients were invited to have breakfast with Molly and Mayo Shattuck, which was really fun. I loved meeting the other interns, who were doing such great work at their respective sites. The program thus prepared me very well for my time in Mexico and gave me a solid foundation of knowledge and support.
Q: How important is it to you as a student to get scholarship support?
A: Scholarships make my education possible. Without financial assistance, I would not be free to pursue some of the wonderful opportunities I’ve had at UMBC, such as research, volunteering, playing club Ultimate and being involved in many organizations. In addition to the Shattuck Program’s financial assistance, I am also a member of Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program. The Sondheim Program helped me financially during my college career, and gave me a solid foundation to learn about public service and public affairs. Scholarship support gave me the time to become a freer, more well-rounded thinker and an involved student.
Q: What did you do with the scholarship money you received?
A: The Shattuck Program’s grant enabled me to pay for my plane ticket to Mexico, my baggage fees and it also covered most of my living expenses while I was there. I felt really lucky to be able to do international service without worrying about the financial stress of traveling to another country.
Q: What would you say to the people who provided your scholarship?
A: Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you. The Shattucks’ generosity is incredible. Both Molly and Mayo Shattuck are inspiring and great examples of leading a positive and giving life. I really admire both of them for their innovations, like their internship program, and all of the service work they do in the Baltimore community.
Q: What do you hope to do after graduation and why?
A: My favorite quote is derived from the Bible and immortalized by John F. Kennedy: “To those whom much is given, much is expected.” I believe in this very strongly. I have been given very much, and after college graduation I want to give back. I plan to serve both domestically and internationally. I am applying to several AmeriCorps programs and the Peace Corps. After this service, I will pursue a Ph.D. in Community Psychology. I plan on using my degree to work for food justice, access and sustainability within communities of immigrants and refugees in the United States.