WWS Blog

Reflections on the PPIA Junior Summer Institute at Princeton

Aug 11, 2015
Published by:
Katherine Pantangco, JSI '15

Homemaking" and "coming full circle" are important themes I've taken away so far in my life.

Towards the end of my senior year of high school, I received a call from the Princeton Prize in Race Relations selection committee, congratulating me on becoming the San Francisco winner for that year. This summer, I was able to spend two months back at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School, just down the street from the Carl A. Fields Center where the Princeton Prize in Race Relations Symposium is held annually.

While PPIA and WWS staff reassured us that there was no mistake in our selection to be here, I couldn't help but wonder, the opposite: Should I really be here? Could the Wilson School ever by my home?

For me, solidarity and family are at the heart of 'homemaking.' And as with any family, we found ourselves in spaces of reflection, dialogues and heated debates. But with each interaction, I gained a new perspective I wouldn't have had otherwise. By building bridges with one another, we fought the good fight in order to build solidarity. Thanks to the support of my professors, peers and other JSI faculty, I realized that I was and am "on the way" to coming full circle-- to coming and making "home."

Thank you, The Princeton Prize in Race Relations, for welcoming a young optimist to your institution three years ago. Thank you, Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs and the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program (PPIA) for reminding me that your investment in my peers and myself was a testament to our education, career and greater life goals. Thank you for validating us.

Thank you, to my cohort 2015 PPIA JSI Princeton University, for helping me realize I can find home in the dungeon of Robertson and in the study lounges of Bloomberg. Thank you for reminding me my presence wasn't a mistake here. I encourage you all to keep finding ways to build homes with others.



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