In just a couple of days, I will graduate from Amarillo College. As I prepare to move on to Texas Tech, I am grateful for the opportunities I have had through the Amarillo College Presidential Scholars Program. From international travel to academic rigor, the experiences I have had at AC have shaped the past two years of my life.
In May of 2014, the Amarillo College Presidential Scholars traveled halfway around the world to Cambodia. Over the nine days we were gone, we learned about the Khmer Rouge, experienced the Killing Fields, and toured the amazing temples of Angkor. Born and raised in America, I was not aware of the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge; however, in visiting the Killing Fields, the gruesome and horrific details of this genocide became very real and emotional. In an emotional flip-flop, we even visited the incredibly expensive royal palace, most of it was gold, in Phnom Penh. As I reflect on the trip, my favorite memory is playing a pickup basketball game at the Olympic stadium in Phnom Penh. Although the people playing were of different nationalities, ranging from Spanish to Canadian to American to Cambodian, we could still do something like sports together.
Without a doubt, the Presidential Scholars program at AC has been academically challenging. But the challenge has not been without accomplishment. In Scholars Speech, I spoke on the radio station. For Texas Government, I participated in creating a commercial. Through Art History, I ran an event for the Amarillo Museum of Art. Finally, in World Literature, I worked with classmates to make a parody video. Outside of these classes, I have spoken to civic groups in both Amarillo and Canyon, as well as met some incredible people. In short, the classes I have taken have not only been a part of my education, but have also inspired me to learn beyond the classroom.
In just a few short months, I will be closing a door on this chapter in my life. However, as I look back on what I have experienced and accomplished the past couple of years, I am filled with gratefulness. Through the Presidential Scholars program, I have grown personally and academically. I experienced a completely different way of life in the international world, as well as received hands-on experience in a variety of subjects in the educational world. These experiences have given me a foundation to build on for the rest of my life.