In April 5th, 2023, I received an email from The University of Alabama that shook the ground underneath my feet, in the best way possible!
It read "Dear Erick, we are happy to inform you that you have been awarded a Graduate School Fellowship".
While I was well aware that, following my acceptance into their Ph.D. program, the School of Social Work at UA had nominated me for this Fellowship, I never imagined I would actually get it.
This is such an honor, and I feel so seen/validated, especially since only 15 of these Fellowships are awarded each year across the entire university. OMG, this is HUGE!
It's not every day that a person like me, with my background, is praised and awarded for their hard work in this way! Growing up poor in Brazil and experiencing nearly every Adverse Childhood Experience across the board, I would never imagine my life would be taking this turn. And as the first person in my family to graduate from college, I never imagined I would make it this far.
Being awarded UA's most competitive fellowship for incoming graduate students is a testament to several years of hard work and dedication to research and social justice.
Roll tide, full ride!