Zaida Hatfield – University of Oregon
Zaida is studying ethnic studies and has a strong passion for social and racial justice. She is involved with the Student Sustainability Center as the Cultural Sustainability Coordinator.
University of Oregon, Class of 2022
Degree: Ethnic Studies, minor in Spanish
Ethnic Studies major, Spanish minor and possibly Business. I chose ES because I have a strong passion for social and racial justice. I hope to start my own business or nonprofit that will allow me to give back to unrepresented communities. Currently in Argentina, I am studying Spanish so that my world view can expand and so I can understand more people I come in contact with.
How do you think being a first generation student has affected your college experience?
I can see the disparities for people like me. It has encouraged me to work harder and use my voice to help others who do not have the courage, strength, or whatever reason that they cannot speak up for themselves.
What do you love about U of O?
The fact that we are trying to be diverse. The university in itself used its diverse students to make them look better, and they “greenwash” to make them look like they care about the environment. Though there are many social problems, I love the passion that comes from the students of these minority groups.
What is your favorite subject or class you’ve taken?
Black Feminist History!!! Everyone should take this class. To sum it up, it teaches us about how the American economy was motored by the exploitation of the Black female body.
What has been the most impactful experience during your time in college?
Working at the Student Sustainability Center as the Cultural Sustainability Coordinator and starting a free store where students can get clothes at no cost.
If you have ever attended our scholarship brunches, how did those go for you?
I enjoyed meeting my fellow scholars and feeling not so alone. It helped me take pride in receiving this scholarship as well as be proud of my partners.
What does it mean to you to have been chosen as a Renaissance Scholar?
It means the world to me. I thought that college wasn’t an option because I have always lived below the poverty line, but this and Pathway Oregon allowed me to go to school and not worry so much about how I would eat, get necessary items, and breathe.
Any advice for students applying for the Renaissance Scholars program?
Go for it! Take your time and be honest in your applications. Apply to as many scholarships as you can, and be prideful yet humble when you receive them. Do not boast about your awards, but to be proud of yourself.