I needed this money, and I felt that I had earned it through all the hard work I had put in while earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees. On the other hand it felt like I was being bought. Could I really take that money, knowing that it was part of a payout that had brought pain to so many? How would I judge myself in five years time?
… I decided that even though this money would mean that I wouldn’t have to struggle to pay my rent this semester, I had to go with my naʻau and decline the award. I respectfully decline the award, and appreciate the selection committee deciding that I was a worthy recipient. This money was meant to get students interested in STEM, but I am working on my third STEM degree, and I will finish it without support from TMT, the same way I started.
For the other THINK scholarship recipients, I understand that there may be those who are feeling conflicted. I know that for some of you, this might make or break your decision to finish your degree. It will be your choice whether to accept this money, and I will be supportive of each of your decisions no matter what you choose, but I have made my choice.
Someone once told me that by taking the low-hanging fruit, I might miss out on the sweetest fruit at the top of the tree, even though it might be more work to reach. I will not stop reaching for the top of that tree, even though the climb may be difficult.
I am not afraid to work hard to achieve my goal, so if anyone is hiring a freelance molecular biologist, please let me know.