Anthropology major Jennifer Begazo has been awarded a Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship for her academic achievement and commitment to serving her community. The prestigious award provides paid summer internships, mentoring, and enhanced educational opportunities to New York City undergraduates who demonstrate exceptional promise, outstanding leadership skills, and commitment to the common good.
Begazo, who resides in Buchanan, N.Y., is a student in the Lehman Scholars Program, where she maintains a strong academic record while actively taking part in community service. She has volunteered at a battered women’s shelter in New York and traveled to Kenya to work in an orphanage. She also interned at the Museum of Natural History.
Her dream is to become a writer and illustrator for children’s books—“to get children all around the world to become interested in anthropology,” she explains, “and to close the gap between ignorance of others and their cultures.”
“Jennifer is a born anthropologist and humanist, a caring, deeply concerned person committed to understanding and improvement of the world around us,” says Dr. Gary Schwartz, director of the Lehman Scholars Program.
Begazo is currently interviewing for internships and ultimately plans to apply to Oxford University to earn a Ph.D. in anthropology or writing. She says the fellowship will hone her leadership skills and enable her to make an impact on society. “It will also allow me to gain more knowledge and create relationships with others to help change what we don’t like about the world we live in,” she adds.
Established by the Thomas J. Watson Foundation in 1999, the award provides fellows with competitive job placements in non-profit agencies, business organizations, and government service over three consecutive summers, giving them a chance to grow and develop interpersonal skills and gain self-confidence. In their third summer, Watson Fellows can apply for an international assignment through partnerships with the Institute of International Education, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Save the Children, and many other organizations. Students also attend weekly seminars and cultural events in New York City.
More than a dozen Lehman College students have previously won the award.