UOG student Prairie Garrido a finalist for Truman Scholarship
University of Guam senior Prairie Garrido was selected as one of 199 finalists for the Truman Scholarship award in a record year of 840 applicants. The Truman Scholarship, a living memorial to the 33rd U.S. president Harry S. Truman, is the premier graduate fellowship for students planning to pursue careers in government or public service in the United States. The program normally receives 600 applications per year and selects 60 students as Truman Scholars to receive $30,000 toward their graduate studies and significant opportunities for professional development.
“The Truman award is one of the most prestigious and highest dollar value scholarships in the country,” said John J. Rivera, chairman of the Master of Public Administration and Professional Master of Business Administration programs within UOG’s School of Business & Public Administration and Garrido’s faculty representative for the award. “To be selected as a finalist is a huge honor and is very telling of Garrido’s potential as a future change agent in the public sector.”
Finalists are selected based on their records of leadership, public service, and academic achievement. As a finalist, Garrido travelled in early April to Washington, D.C., to be interviewed before an expert panel.
Though Garrido was not selected as an awardee, she surpassed 76% of applicants nationally in being selected a finalist.
The process of applying, being a finalist, and interviewing for the award has profound personal benefits and professional advantages. Finalists gain a better sense of their career goals and personal strengths and interests, improve their writing and interviewing skills, and get a head start in preparing applications for graduate schools.
“I think that one of the best aspects of the whole Truman Scholarship process is actually answering the application,” Garrido said. “Taking the time to deeply ponder your life, what you want to do, and why you even want to do these things in the first place has undoubtedly given me a better sense of direction and purpose.”
Garrido is a third-year UOG student at the senior level in her studies toward dual degrees in political science and public administration with a minor in writing. She serves as vice president of the Political Science Student Association and is also involved with the Public Administration and Legal Studies Society, where she assisted in putting on The 2018 Great (Gubernatorial) Debate. She also volunteers with AmeriCorps.
Academically, she has plans to graduate from UOG in 2020 and then simultaneously pursue a master’s in political science and a juris doctorate and eventually a doctorate in political science.
She is weighing several career options that would afford her the opportunity to address Guam’s self-determination and to work toward greater national security in America.
“If there is one thing that I am certain of, it is that I will have a career in public service,” she said. “Specifically, I desire to commit to public service here on our island of Guam. As an avid proponent of the self-determination process, I fervently want to see the success of decolonization on our island before I leave this world.”
The University of Guam was named a Truman Honor Institution in 2009. Guam has had 22 Truman Scholars since the program’s start in 1975. Eighteen of those Truman Scholars have come from the University of Guam.
“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to represent not just the University, but our entire island of Guam for the Truman Scholarship,” Garrido said.
Truman Scholars from the University of Guam