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PHD I/O Minority Empowerment, Suriname

July 26, 2015

I seek to build an increasingly successful career as a psychology professional working in the area of minority empowerment. A young black American man with a Master’s Degree in Psychology, I was raised for most of the time growing up in my mother’s native Suriname, going on to attend high school in Holland and then college in Florida. I speak Dutch as a mother tongue and my father, a Jamaican-American, provided me with English as my second native language. I am also fluent in Sranan-Tongo, although it is difficult for me to write in this language. Probably what I am most proud of, however, are the language skills that I have acquired largely on my own, my German only slightly better than my Spanish and both improving. I look forward to contributing and sharing in the vast diversity of your especially distinguished program in I/O Psychology at XXXX University.

I am fully aware of how very competitive it is to gain acceptance to your distinguished program at XXXX. I do hope to be accepted however, both because of the priority that Harvard places on the importance of diversity as well as the long term goals that I have of giving my life to the empowerment of the underprivileged and underserved. I zeroed straight in on my central career interest when I wrote my Master’s Thesis at XXXX University’s Community Psychology Program on African-American male identity.

My international exposure has opened my eyes to the inordinate amount of work related stress minorities and/or underprivileged groups face on a daily basis. Many people’s economic success is not only stymied by the negative economic habits learned from their parents, but there are also few resources available to help young people from underprivileged households to deal successfully with the stressors of the workplace and the community in general. I hope to spend my life on the cutting edge of research of research concerning how to best assist minority youth from at-risk homes in learning and mastering effective techniques to deal with stress in the workplace.

Especially as a result of having the opportunity to serve as a facilitator, as part of a community stress management course, I have experienced first-hand the positive effects of stress management. Not only did participants lean how to cope with their daily stress in the workplace, but their work ethic improved and most made advancements in their current employment situations. After being introduced to many creative ideas from such sources as the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Next Door Millionaire, and Lynch Pin, participants in our course improved their decision making, increased their general productivity, and also began to contribute to positive change within their community.

I believe the work place should be a positive, motivating and relaxing environment that inspires people to not only do their best at their given profession but to also be inspired to serve their community. After pursuing a career in research, my long term dream is to start an international foundation that focuses on the empowerment of people from underprivileged backgrounds to better their individual lives at the same time that they in turn help to foster progressive advancement and greater levels of inclusive social justice in their communities. Participants in our program would receive extensive support in terms of developing money management skills, opportunities for entrepreneurship, and how to attain and retain gainful employment for themselves and their families.

Growing up in the poverty stricken country Suriname, I know all to well the limiting beliefs and circumstances that stymie upward mobility of entire communities and have a strong desire to help those in need. It is my unshakable belief that XXXX University is the only University that can provide me with the research foundation I need to enact the macro systemic positive change I so desire to do.  I hope to have the honor of rolling up my sleeves so to speak and to put in the immeasurable work to contribute to make a significant contribution to the body of research in Organizational Psychology. 

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