Rotary Club of Belfast

Global Grant Scholars 2022/23

Marisa Terry 07.11.22Odalis AlvaradoThe Club has a proud history of support for Global Scholars and has hosted 22 scholars in the last 13 years. This year the Club is delighted to welcome Odalis Alvarado (far left) and Marisa Terry for the 2022/23 year whilst they are studying for Masters Degrees at Queens and wish them well in their studies. In November 2022 Odalis and Marisa addressed Club meetings with interesting and detailed expositions of their background, studies, interests and future plans. Both addresses, peppered with infectious enthusiasm, were greatly appreciated.

Odalis thanking for the opportunity to study here for her Masters in Education revealed:

  • Odalis 1she was born and raised in Bryan, Texas and is the middle child of 7; her parents were from poor backgrounds in Mexico and moved to the USA to pursue "the American Dream
  • she had a humble childhood and in her teenage years was grew up in an environment of crime and violence which greatly impacted her so, as her parents had greatly stressed the importance of education, she focused on her schooling and achieved excellent grades
  • she applied to attend one of the most prestigious High Schools in the State of Texas - Bryan Collegiate which helped her escape reality and focus on her education and without it she maintained she would not have made it this far
  • she studied Political Science and Criminal Justice for her Undergraduate Degree at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville; while studying she became a Correctional Officer in charge of monitoring 150 male inmates in the State prison (which was the scariest eye-opening thing she had ever done!); this experience led her to want to know why criminals commit crimes and, as the inmates were mainly uneducated and drop-outs, she wondered if there was a correlation between crime and education
  • she made her 1st international trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to work with Special Needs children in the Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital and at a local school, this was difficult as she did not speak Vietnamese and had to communicate by sign language
  • she graduated at the age of 20 and went to Taiwan to teach and encountering the same language issues started to learn Mandarin (which is now her 3rd language as she is nearly fluent); she was very happy there and fell in love with a local!
  • however she left Taiwan to pursue her education to study for a Masters in Public Administration in University of North Texas and applied for the Rotary Scholarship as she wanted to study Education for her 2nd Masters at Queens
  • she has recently submitted an application for a Fulbright Scholarship as an Assistant Teacher in Taiwan and hopes to settle there
  • her long term career goal is to work for UNESCO

Marisa Terry advised she will be studying for her Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development and revealed:

  • Slide2she grew up in Lacey and Lakewood, Washington State and graduated from Bellarmine, Tacoma in 2018
  • as she was particularly interested in Social Justice and environmental issues, she studied for a BA in International Studies (Diplomacy) at Louisiana State University and has recently graduated
  • whilst there she worked with students from local schools on various service projects and most interestingly at a domestic violence help centre
  • needing more specialisation, as her main interest lay in the effects of coastal erosion, she realised she would have to study outside of the USA
  • realising it was a perfect fit for her to pursue her education in partnership with a service organisation she successfully applied for a Rotary Scholarship through her local Rotary Club in Lakewood to study for an MSc. Leadership for Sustainable Development
  • it is an all-encompassing course covering environmental, social, economic and political issues and she will be looking at, in particular, how coastal erosion affects people who live in coastal areas.

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