Scholar Spotlight: Jada Thompson
Rising senior at University of Northern Iowa
“I have become very involved with the debate team, which is not something I would have been able to do if I also had to work full time. I compete in debate tournaments at schools all over the country, and last semester I qualified for nationals!”
What is the most interesting thing you have done or are planning to do to explore or gain experience in your career field?
Next year, I am planning to study abroad in Spain and Costa Rica, which will help me develop my language skills and bring me one step closer to my goal of being fluent in Spanish. I will have the opportunity to intern in the human rights field while in Costa Rica.
How are you sharing your time and/or talents with others now? How do you hope to do so in the future?
I volunteer at the food bank and House of Hope in Waterloo. I also coordinated the annual Bright Scholars’ giveback event this year at UNI. We collected donations to provide a low-income Waterloo family of five with Christmas presents. In the future, I hope to use my Spanish skills and policy knowledge to connect immigrants and refugees with resources to help them transition to life in the United States.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
My biggest accomplishment has been qualifying to participate in nationals for National Forensic Association Lincoln Douglas Debate.
What is your favorite class and why?
My favorite class so far has been Spanish Graphic Novels. This class is such a refreshing take on literature because it re-evaluates what we consider “high culture.” Many people think graphic novels are for children, but sometimes they cover really deep themes. I think graphic novels can be better than traditional novels because the pictures enhance the experience and add another level of depth.
Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years?
In five years, I hope to have graduated with my MA in Latin American studies and a certificate in human rights. In 10 years, I would like to be working for a non-governmental organization that connects refugees and immigrants with resources. I’m also open to the idea of working abroad.