Become a leader for positive change with the Bezos Scholars Program.

Contributed by
PORTIA KUIVI
2015 Bezos Scholar
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Student Stories

Scholar Spotlight: 2015 Scholar Portia Kuivi

What are you up to right now? What projects and new ideas are exciting you personally, academically?
I am currently in my third year at the University of British Columbia (UBC), majoring in Psychology with a minor in Commerce. At the moment, I am working as a research assistant at the UBC Infant Studies Centre and I absolutely love working there. Our centre focuses on language development in infants and the factors that influence it. I really love this job because I get practical knowledge on what research in psychology looks like, how researchers get things done and best of all I get to see beautiful babies every week. I’m working towards doing a Directed Studies in Psychology here at UBC and maybe at the centre I am currently working at. Directed Studies is an opportunity to participate in a research project under the supervision of a faculty member. I’m hoping that these experiences would allow me to see if being a researcher would be a good fit for me in the future. So, keep an eye out for a research paper by yours truly in the near future – if all goes well!

Have you been keeping in touch with your Bezos Scholar alumni, and if so — how?
Yeah. I try to stay in touch as much as I can, but the truth is I am terrible at social media and technology in general. So, it hasn’t been at its best. However, I enjoy reading the monthly newsletters because it keeps me up-to-date on what’s happening in the Scholars community. Recently I got to see Nicole in Texas when I interned with the Aspen Challenge Dallas. It was really nice to connect with the community again and reminisce on our Aspen days – how I miss those fun times! I’m really looking forward to a Scholars reunion in Aspen sometime in the future.

Which influential books, albums, podcasts, or films would you personally recommend to the BSP community of curious minds?
Over the summer I watched an incredible documentary by Ava DuVernay, called 13th. This documentary explores the history of racism and injustice in America and relating it to the stunning disproportionate number of African-Americans in the nation’s prisons. It brings together politicians, activists, former prisoners and just incredibly amazing minds to unravel this ongoing issue of injustice in America. I definitely recommend this documentary to everyone and if you’re wondering where you can find it, Netflix is the place to go to!

Who or what are you finding inspiration in right now?
As cliché as it may sound, over the past few months I have really been drawing my energy to keeping going from my family - my own personal drive has not been enough recently. However, their constant reminder of how much they love me and believe in my abilities just gives me the extra confidence and perseverance to do the best I can. Aside from the fact that they gave birth to me, I honestly couldn’t be where I am without them. So, I’m going to keep drawing from this energy and I probably will keep doing this for a while.

Anything else you want to share with the BSP community?
I started taking a kickboxing class and I just love it. I haven’t been able to go much recently because of school and work and it breaks my heart that I have missed about 3 weeks! However, I’m going to get back into it really soon. If you’ve never tried it before, I honestly think you should give kickboxing a shot. It makes me feel so strong and in control of my body and who doesn’t love feeling this way?

Contributed by
PORTIA KUIVI
2015 Bezos Scholar
Categories
Student Stories