Letter from the Columbia Quest Liaison
I am grateful for the chance to lead my peers as Liaison for the Columbia University Quest Scholars Network chapter. I am looking forward to forming new friendships and building the Quest Scholars Network over the next academic year. I promise sincere advice and guidance to every Quest Scholar I encounter, and I aim to facilitate a warm and welcoming environment for all low-income students on campus. I plan on helping my fellow Scholars take full advantage of Columbia University and New York City by sharing my personal public transportation tales, ethnic restaurant adventures, and internship search advice. I realize, however, that every student will have their own unique path through college. And so I look forward to learning much from my fellow students as I hear about their own experiences.
Born and raised as a proud Texan, I made the choice to move cross-country for college to escape the poverty that surrounded my childhood. I am now in my final year at Columbia University and remain thankful that I made the choice to expand my comfort zone and challenge the expectations of society. I am majoring in Civil Engineering, with a concentration in Construction Management, and minoring in Hispanic Studies.
For most Quest Scholars, college involves forming opinions and learning to thrive rather than merely survive. I hope to shape our campus chapter into a comfortable and stable support system for the transition from “high-achieving low-income” to full-on successful professional citizen. When the midterm slump arrives, our Quest Scholar community will be there to help energize our learning efforts. When finals begin and we are convinced that sleep is too costly, we will remind each other to take study breaks. When our finances are running low, we will make lasting memories together. And when we feel like a fish out of water, we will come together to vent our frustrations and remind each other not to dwell on them. We will find the line between forsaking our past and sinking in the quicksand of stereotypes. Together, we will discover what it means to be a deserving and motivated student in the most exciting place in the nation.
As Quest Lions, we have the distinct advantage of being in New York City. We have access to world-renowned parades as well as world-renowned business firms. Superb professional and social resources foster a sense of independence in the students. Open and honest dialogue is promoted by every level of the university’s administration. The annual World Leaders Forum draws famous and infamous speakers to campus each year, while freshmen orientation activities include diverse topics. The administration also looks out for our health by promoting stress relief and sponsoring plenty of study breaks. Honestly, there seems to be free food everywhere you turn during finals season each semester. The curriculum is difficult here but traditions such as Primal Scream and Orgo Night prove that we do know how to blow off steam on campus.
I look forward to hearing from my Lion Scholars, as well as any prospective QuestBridge applicant with questions.
With much love and big dreams,
Taylor Breen, Columbia '13
Our Executive Board consists of 9 dedicated Quest Scholars. We meet bi-weekly to plan our general body meetings and events. All Questies meet twice a month for networking, community outreach, and peer bonding.
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