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Amanda Cellini ′09

My friends jokingly call me the poster child for extracurricular activities.

My commitments define who I am: I choose what I do by my passions. Since my time at Rhodes began, I have sacrificed “free” time to try as many things as possible. This led me to doing such polar things as becoming a Bonner Scholar, planning lectures around the globe, helping build a mock refugee camp, playing a tuba, joining a sorority and creating an International Court of Justice simulation accessible to high-school students. I have been to New York City to sit in the General Assembly of the United Nations, to Vanderbilt University to argue a court case, to the Madison Hotel in downtown Memphis to meet Paul Rusesabagina (the hero behind the movie Hotel Rwanda), and to the Rollow Avenue of Oaks on the Rhodes campus to mentor local refugee children.

By not being afraid to follow your interests, you find your enthusiasm, your purpose and your drive. The same can be said about academics here. I am an international studies major, psychology minor. Such a unique blending of classes, like my chosen organizations, I feel will give me a proper background in two levels of interaction—both global and individual. This will best allow me to continue to follow my humanitarian endeavors in the pursuit of global justice for human rights. My vision to create a NGO (nongovernmental organization) later in life will be aided by the tools and connections discovered here at Rhodes.

I feel that I have not yet done enough with my time here. Yes, I’ve challenged my beliefs, helped to change the status quo, made some differences in the lives of those around me, got to hang out with bands and traveling dignitaries and meet some of my best friends. Yet opportunities are endless, as are lessons yet to be learned. I have no doubt that Rhodes will help facilitate my next goal: to see firsthand the larger world outside our gates. No matter where I am on this globe, the experiences Rhodes presented will be with me. Rhodes is more than a college; it is a mindset, a way of life.

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