In Their Words: Alyssa Scarsciotti

alyssa-scarsciotti-zimmerman-1.jpgName: Alyssa Scarsciotti

College: Stevenson

Department: Sociology/Linguistics

What Award/Scholarship did you receive? The Gabriel Zimmerman Scholarship

What year do you expect to graduate? June 2020

Where do you call home? Santa Ana, Orange County in Southern California

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out? The linguistics program made UCSC stand out to me, I also love the location. We are very lucky to have the lovely redwood forest and the ocean surround us.

What is your field of focus? I focus on restorative justice and social work.

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz? I plan on going into the Peace Corps. as soon as I graduate.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here? My first midterm at UC Santa Cruz. It was for Introduction to Sociology and I was absolutely ecstatic--it was such a monumental moment in my educational career. I had made it to college, and I was ready for the exam. I felt as excited as I would be riding my first roller coaster.

What is your one piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz? Utilize all the resources on campus! There are amazing PE classes, rec rooms, music equipment, and so many resources that you don't want to miss out on just because you didn't know they were there.

How will this scholarship impact your academic life/research? For most of my academic career, I've been a working student. I started working at the age of 17 and started renting my own room the week I turned 18. Throughout the struggle to balance work, school, and volunteer experience, I've always daydreamed about how much more energy I could put into my academic life if I didn't need to work as many hours to support myself. Throughout college, I've worked at Peet's Coffee until this March, when I took a break from work so I could re calibrate my focus on academics and volunteer opportunities such as the ART Initiative. Since March, I've put a lot of effort into ART Initiative, spending hours on training volunteers, recruiting, enhancing our organization, as well my academic life. With my free time, I've been able to begin researching and drafting a proposal for my senior thesis. My academic progress and dedication had been thriving, but my bank account was dwindling and I started feeling the financial pressure as I began searching for a new job to juggle again. With this scholarship, the financial burden is immensely relieved from my shoulders and I can continue focusing on my academic life throughout the rest of the school year. With this scholarship, I have a clear head and the energy that I would daydream of--I can pour all of myself into my academics and volunteering opportunities and I am excited to watch my growth as a student and a volunteer.

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