HOSTS

Amonté L. Martin

 

Entering college was rough. As a first generation college student, and only the second person in my entire family to go to college, when things were tough, I had no one to turn to, and no one could relate to my college experiences. Sometimes it felt as if I were walking through a dark hallway trying to feel my way through, with no guidance. The only hope I found was in football. When that did not work out as I had planned, I redirected my focus to becoming a better student. After a few semesters, I started to get involved in more agriculturally-oriented clubs, and my passion for helping underserved populations led to me being selected and nominated to participate in many leadership summits. I began to gain confidence in my academic abilities, which influenced me to run for student leadership positions within my college. Without a doubt, I genuinely appreciate and value my education, because it has allowed me to grow as a result of exposure to information and experiences that have changed my life. I have matured as a student, I have matured as a leader, and I have acquired a great admiration for the process of conducting research, along my journey.

            I had the privilege of learning firsthand in South Africa, how the power of agricultural education is more than just remembering and regurgitating information. It is a tool that individuals use to emancipate themselves from the threshold of ignorance, and it also helps communities emerge from the shadows of poverty. My trip abroad also demonstrated how the implementation and manifestation of policies can impact schools and communities.

            Therefore, after carefully considering my aptitude, interests, the nature of my training and my ultimate professional ambitions, I decided to pursue a doctoral degree in food policy. 

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