MLK Scholars come from all backgrounds and have varied interests. They are focused on developing their leadership skills and giving back to the community.
Amaris Brown ‘16 is a Brooklyn-born scholar and activist. As the daughter of a Latina mother and African-American father—both first-generation college students – she reflects, “my identity has been a source of both inspiration and contention”. Shortly after her sophomore year, she declared a double major in African and Afro-American Studies (AAAS) and Sociology. Her current research as a Schiff Fellow explores ‘resistive (de)constructions of the black female body through artistic mediums.’ She utilizes her MLK scholarship to both create and sustain safe space for her peers, while also demanding that the narratives, and experiences of black women are heard on campus.
Amaris serves as the Undergraduate Representative for the AAAS Department. She also holds a position as a Senior Interviewer with Brandeis University Admissions. In spring of 2015 she was awarded a Schiff Fellowship, a grant that funds undergraduates pursuing innovative research for one academic year in their field of interest. Over the course of her freshman and sophomore years, she served as the Co-president of Brandies University’s Women of Color Alliance, as well as a Co-Coordinator for the Brandeis Bridges club/fellowship. Amaris remarks, one of her most fulfilling experiences at Brandeis thus far was taking part in the 2014 production of The Vagina Monologues, and describes her involvement as “both healing and uplifting”.
Amaris is currently partaking in a summer research internship at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and hopes to pursue graduate studies in the humanities.
Wilkins Lugo '17 enjoys picking apart anything in order to get a better understanding of its function. He enjoys the sciences and solving puzzles which suits his deconstructing-interest.
He enjoys both his academics and fulfilling his extracurricular activities. Being a Biochemistry major and a Chemistry minor, Wilkins spends lots of time with his head in a textbook. When a textbook is not open in front of him, he spends his free time with the Student Leadership Board organizing events for the Student Support Services Program (SSSP); with Martin Luther King and Friends club as a member and as their treasurer; mentoring freshmen as a SSSP peer mentor; and catching up on Criminal Minds.
Outside of Brandeis, Wilkins has interned with the Housatonic Valley Association Inc. (HVA) with the help from the Sorensen Fellowship the summer of his sophomore year. After finishing the summer internship, he joined Boston Cares. He hopes to gain all the experience he can in order to prepare himself for the Peace Corps after graduation. He is very grateful that the MLK scholarship has opened this many doors for him in and out of Brandeis University!