Camille Carlton, majoring in International Affairs and Political Science, is a LatPro Scholarship Finalist

[I]t was warm out. Eleven at night and the sky was a mush of royal purple and deep blue that outlined the few stars light pollution hadn’t swallowed. Still, it was magnificent. There were lightning bugs also—one moment they were there and the next they were gone. Never there long enough to be grasped. I walked up alone. I’m quite fond of being alone actually. It was enormous. A perfectly balanced mix of towering cement pillars and an elegantly designed fountain placed in the middle. It was massive and I felt small. Small but a part of something wonderfully important. Yet it wasn’t the enormous World War II memorial that got to me, it was the Freedom Wall. 

There I stood. All four thousand and forty-eight stars perfectly placed in front of me. They reflected in the still pool beneath them and their magnitude of importance filled me like light pouring in through a window. Each star for one hundred dead Americans. The inscription, “Here we mark the price of freedom” which has been permanently etched in my mind since, made my stomach drop. I cannot begin to explain the amount of blessings that I felt at that moment. To be fortunate enough to live in a country with such a magnificently structured government, to have rights that other countries have only dreamed of, it was eye opening and inspiring all at once. My mind was made up. I have been given the opportunity to influence and to leave a legacy, and I will do nothing short of that. It was at that moment that I knew I wanted not only to be a part of this amazing country, but to spread our blessings and our fortune around the world.

One of the biggest obstacles that I have faced is the insincerity in people when I explain to them all the problems the rest of the world is facing. Not just a lack of food and water, but abuse by their governments and many multi-million dollar corporations with roots right here in the US. People ask me how I plan to make a career with my degree and in what direction I plan on going, to tell you the truth, I am still figuring it out. However, I know with every bone in my body that this field is where I want, even where I am meant, to be. I wake up in the mornings and I know that I am going to have breakfast, I know that if my rights- social, economic, or political- are abused or taken from me, that something can and will be done. I live a life of comfort and security and have come to believe that those two elements should be the next essentials we provide for the rest of the developing and even developed world. Every day I leave my classes angry and frustrated but with a sense of urgency and a feeling that I can change the world. Never has the saying parents tell their children, “You can be anything you want, an astronaut, a pirate, even the president..” been so clearly present in my life. I know that graduating with this degree means not that I am going to make a difference, but that I already have by caring and sharing my knowledge to bring awareness to worldwide issues, and that I will continue to.’s scholarship program is proud to announce Camille Carlton as one of the finalists for its December 2012 application deadline. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

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