Why am I here?

Blog Home    |     04.26.2017 by     |    


Last year, I was invited to facilitate a session for a small parent group in California’s Central Coast.  At the end of the session, I tried to prompt the parents to reflect upon the significance of their group; that is, what they had gathered from each other and how the group helped them grow.  While parents found the group helpful, they found various needs unmet.  They turned to me asking me what I was able to offer them.  Not really understanding what my skills, background, or interests were–but knowing that I was part of the University of California and that I was coming from a town very close to Sacramento (aka, a a site of power)–they wanted me to help them have their stories of neglect and abandonment heard and help them access resources.  In the spot, I couldn’t think of anything tangible to offer them.  My research focuses on slow and dispersed processes and does not have any ‘deliverable’ outcomes to the people I am interested in studying.  Furthermore, as a young scholar, I have very little experience in this field, limited funds, limited time.  I asked myself: what can I offer?

I found Mellon Public Scholarship a promising program where I thought it could be a good way to learn to how to develop a project that has more concrete and immediate deliverables for this community.  More importantly, I was particularly attracted to this program so that I could be part of a cohort with whom I could learn from various experiences simultaneously along the way.  I hope that this program can offer me a space to learn with others, and help me imagine various creative ways to deliver outcomes with a practical dimension to this community and to future projects.