To whom it may concern,
My name is Gabriel Maldonado, and I am writing this letter to show you why I deserve the Excellence Scholarship awarded by the University of Copenhagen.
I was born in a really small town, to humble parents. Despite my social condition, I was always the best student in my class, since I understood I needed that to change. I was bullied because of my colour and that gave me strength to search for more, to search for a place where my potential would be fully realized. That feeling has driven me my whole life, and that what was led me to my BA degree, since getting a degree in International Relations was the best way to scape from the future my parents had designed for me.
The International Relations Bachelorís Programme at University of Lima, from where I recently got my degree, is the second one to be created in all Latin America, and its entrance exam is one of the most competitive in Peru including all areas. So it was a hard task to get in, and it looked like a distant dream during my whole adolescence.
I worked hard and I got accepted. Through the last three years of my life I have met the most brilliant and capable people I could ever think of. That was a big step for my intellectual and personal formation. Despite not being very excited about the programme, I tried my best benefit from what it had to offer me.
During my studies I was actively engaged in many academic tasks. In 2012 I was awarded with a scholarship from the AZ Programme, a programme of the Peruvian Ministry of Education to support students in the pursuing of their academic goals. For that I took part in deep academic research during one year and wrote an article on Peruís struggles to implement its diplomatic policies.
Teaching assistant activity was another of my achievements. For two semesters, and also awarded with a scholarship, I assisted professors with studentsí evaluations, prepared classes and occasionally acted as a substitute professor. Other accomplishments include three articles I published during my time in College, on themes ranging from The Dispute Over the Amazon to Drugs and International Relations. And for my academic exchange programme, I was selected in first place amongst hundreds of students of University of Lima (the selection process was based on academic merit). I went to Sorbonne, one of the most respected Schools in Europe, where I succeed to get approved in all subjects despite languages and cultural barriers.
As for extra-curricular activities, I was selected by a Professor to be a member of the Peruvian Delegation to the 14™ Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP/MOP 14), where I took part in the approval of a deal to strength relevant Institutions, networks and climate change communication, training, education and public awareness at all levels.
Having always been concerned with Social and Environmental Responsibility, I looked for it in my professional life too. In 2013 I accepted an unpaid internship at he Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and even though I had to lower my quality of life, the feeling of just being there helping people was amazing. And I did a good job, once I was hired two years later, even before graduating. In addition, I take part in monthly meeting organized by the Lima Red Cross to visit orphanages, rest homes and develop activities to improve the quality of life of the people of concern.
Thus, it is clear for me how my social background and my humanitarian experiences showed me that when people are given an opportunity to overcome circumstances they take it. My University was a pioneer in the implementing of social quotas in Lima, and I can see how it has changed the social background of the academic environment, and how it might change the future of my Country. And thatís the message I want to spread.
As you can see in my Academic Record, Human Rights and Arts/Culture are my strongest assets, and to be given a chance to pay for my studies at the University of Copenhagen would be receiving the opportunity to improve my skills and knowledge, and therefore to fulfil my dream, which is to improve peopleís quality of life through culture.
I would like to finish by thanking you for your attention and highlighting that everything I have ever done in my life drove me to this point. I hope you can see why I deserve the Scholarship.