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April 10, 2024

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Avya Pandhi '26

Submitted by Avya Pandhi

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As an international student, a person of color, and a member of underrepresented groups, my journey at this university has been a tapestry of challenges and triumphs. In my roles at the Center for Global Engagement and as President of Club India, I’ve had the privilege of not only navigating these complexities myself but also supporting fellow students who walk similar paths.
The importance of being seen and supported cannot be overstated. In a world where our voices often feel drowned out or marginalized, finding spaces where we are not only acknowledged but uplifted is essential for our growth and well-being. This is why initiatives like the Community Scholars for Black Lives Fellowship are so crucial. They provide a platform for underrepresented voices to be heard and empowered, fostering a sense of belonging and agency within our community. They provide a sense of home away from home, where I can celebrate my identity and heritage with others who understand and appreciate it.
In my capacity as Lead International Peer Mentor and as President of a Cultural Club, I’ve made it my mission to create inclusive environments where all students feel valued and supported. Whether it’s through organizing cultural events, providing resources for academic success, or simply offering a listening ear, I strive to be a beacon of support for my fellow students.
However, creating these spaces requires more than just good intentions. It requires resources and funding to sustain and expand these initiatives. That’s why I urge you to consider donating to the Global Fund, which supports programs for international students. I urge to to help other initiatives like the Community Scholars for Black Lives and support for LGBTQ+ students. Your contribution can help empower voices that have long been marginalized and create a more inclusive and equitable campus community for all. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that every student feels seen, heard, and supported on their journey. Thank you for your consideration and support.
Having a community via cultural clubs, events, and the Center for Global Engagement has not only enriched my college experience but has also been essential to my success. It’s provided me with a support system, a sense of belonging, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. I’m grateful for the inclusive and welcoming environment that these spaces have created, and I know that they will continue to be a source of support and inspiration for me and countless other students at CLU.

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