Provenance: Born in Baltimore, Maryland; moved to the suburbs as a child. Learning: BA in Philosophy & Communications, Loyola University Maryland; Asian Studies Certificate, Kansai Gaidai University (Osaka, Japan). Pre-law: Policy and advocacy intern at World Relief; freelance photographer and graphic designer; L’Oréal sales rep. At BC Law: Community Chair (current) and Vice President 2016-17, Black Law Students’ Association; Research Assistant to Professor Richard Albert; Staff Editor, Intellectual Property and Technology Forum Journal. Languages: Spanish, Korean, Japanese. Extra Credit Participated in international acting and modeling competitions in high school. Best Quality in Friends: Loyalty, with the ability to still tell me when I’m wrong. Guilty Pleasure: Korean dramas; I have subscriptions to three services so I can binge them. Ideal Residence Abroad! A different place every three months would be great. Favorite Motto/Quote: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil.” It’s tattooed on my arm in Japanese.
We lived in the Park Heights community of Baltimore when I was young. While my mother was pregnant with me, a SWAT team came through our yard to raid a drug house, and my dad witnessed someone gunned down right in front of our home. We finally moved after I started to repeat the words of a crack dealer walking down our street shouting “pink tops, purple tops!” My mom knew it was time to go.
I got really interested in Japanese art, culture, and history when my cousin, who was stationed in the Air Force in Japan, came home and talked about the country. I pursued an Asian Studies minor in college and spent a semester abroad in Osaka.
An international comparative criminal justice course in Japan opened my eyes to the role that a country’s culture plays in its legal system. We viewed a Japanese criminal trial and studied human rights cases throughout Asia. This made me want to learn more about Asian legal systems and to question how to apply the lessons there to make changes in the United States.
I was still in Baltimore after being accepted to BC in 2015 when the Freddie Gray riots happened a couple blocks from my church. I was already focused on social justice issues, but when I photographed the aftermath of the riots, my desire to pursue public service solidified.
I was drawn to the Army JAG corps my 1L year because of my family in the military, and I liked the idea of frequently moving to different places. The Army would be a great way to serve and get more structure in my life and to get in shape and gain some spunk.
During a JAG internship my 2L year in South Korea, I was exposed to a lot of law and military life. They even let me do morning physical training with gas masks (I threw up the first time), ruck marches, combat lifesaving, and a Spartan Race with the unit.
Touring the Demilitarized Zone and North Korean infantry tunnels reinforced my desire to do East Asian policy work down the road.