Inspired by the sacrifices her mother made, Patrice plans to use her University of Massachusetts Amherst public health degree to help struggling families succeed.
I won the Charles D. Baker scholarship, and I'm the first person in my immediate family to go to college. I wrote about my mom and how she decided to work so that me and my two sisters could go to school. And Charlie read all of the essays. So when I met him, he told me, I remember your essay. I read it. And I picked you.
"Patrice was really neat. I've said to people before that if you ever feel really bad about the future, you should read these essays. Because you just come away feeling really great about the kids who are at UMass, and what they're doing, and what their hopes and aspirations are. We are one of the best research institutions."
There are so many majors. Anything that you're interested in, you can find it here. And you're going to find things that you didn't know that you needed. I came to UMass totally unaware that social justice would become my life. And public health drives me, because I want to help people like my mom. I want to help people like me. Doing these social sciences has really broadened my scope. And the way that I've talked to people and understand their struggles is something that I think will greatly benefit me anywhere that I go. That's something that I could have never gotten out of a book. And I'm so happy that UMass has been able to give me that. My UMass education represents the fact that I was able to go to college. I've been able to foster skills. I've been able to become a person that I didn't know that I was. It's just made me a more whole person, I think. My name is Patrice Charlot, Class of 2015. I stand for letting people know that they matter, and I stand for UMass.