A high school junior with a personal interest in the refugee crisis and immigration policy, Maya hoped to use her mentorship to build on her experience advocating and volunteering for immigrants and refugees in both New York and Israel.
Develop skills in public-facing writing and primary source analysis.
Gain knowledge about the history and present state of refugees in the U.S. to create an informative original website.
Investigate the veracity of common anti-refugee claims and assess which politicians' platforms support refugees.
Maya's mentor is a Columbia University lecturer specializing in immigration and political history, who also serves as the Executive Director of Columbia's Freedom & Citizenship Program.
Maya honed her writing and research skills through response papers to assigned readings, which helped populate her website. She also drew connections through her research, leading to new features on her site, including a page on how refugees benefit the U.S. economy, debunking common myths.
In her mentorship, Maya established a timeline about the history of American refugee policy, researched current problems and dialogues about refugees and investigated future issues, presenting political platforms that support refugees.
UnitedStatesForRefugees.com is a thoroughly researched, original website covering past and current politics behind the refugee crisis, the economic impact of refugees in America, political platforms on immigration and refugees, and offers resources for those interested in helping, as well as a fundraising jewelry shop.
Before Hugo, I thought of research as boring, picturing a scientific lab, which is of little interest to me. Now, research excites me, and I hope to do research with my college professors. I've written about the value of research in my supplements, and at every virtual webinar, I now ask about research opportunities.
The most meaningful parts of the whole experience were the conversations I had with [my mentor] following my week's research. I would come to the meetings armed with new knowledge, questions, and ideas, and it was so fun and interesting to discuss what I had learned.
I LOVED working with my mentor because she was both extremely helpful in guiding my research and pushed me to come up with my own ideas and find my own resources. I had such stimulating conversations with her that helped me develop my interests and challenge some of my preconceptions. She was very reassuring of my work and had no personal agenda.
Accomplishing a personal goal
Gaining appreciation for the value of her own contributions
Readiness for college level work
Clarification of a career path
Clarification of which academic areas interest her
Increased academic self-confidence
Learning to work independently
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