Janitza Medina, a sophomore and potential psychology and film major, is Lehman’s newest Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship winner. Medina competed with over 125 students from 12 participating colleges for the spot. Sophomore Aidan Cooper is her alternate.
The first in her family to attend college, Medina is excited for the opportunity. “The J.K. Watson Fellowship is one of the few instances in my life that has given me a sense of security in terms of my future career,” says Medina whose family is originally from Puerto Rico.
She says she sees the Fellowship as a support system that will help her realize her dreams. For now, Medina’s plans include making it to the Peace Corps and graduate school, all while serving her community through videography and other means.
Students chosen for the highly competitive program participate in paid internships over the course of three successive summers—two in New York and a third oversees. “I expect the next three summers to be full with new experiences, wonderful people, different opportunities, and a plethora of lessons along the way. For all of this, I am remarkably thankful,” says Medina.
In addition to the internships, J.K. Watson Fellows participate in pre-professional and cultural programming that exposes them to disciplines and professionals who are leaders in their fields.
“This is a superb opportunity for our students because J.K. Watson provides exposure to a broad spectrum of advantages and benefits at a level of sophistication otherwise rarely available to them,” Dr. Gary Schwartz, director of Lehman’s Macaulay Honors College and the Lehman Scholars Program.
Current fellows include Jennifer Begazo, class of 2014, who studied in the CUNY Paris Program over the fall. From the class of 2015 are Jasmine Miranda and Alison Wong. Last summer, Wong interned at New York News You and Miranda worked at The Martina Arroyo Foundation.