Terrorism. Insurgency. Weapons of mass destruction. These words comprise the lexicon of a generation. My generation. We came of age in the aftermath of 9/11 and formed our political consciousness in a time of war. As students, many of us have dedicated our studies to national security, international affairs, and foreign languages. We are motivated by patriotism and a desire to better understand the world.
But like every generation of movers and shakers, we need guidance. For me, the Lint Center has been an invaluable source of academic and professional support. The scholarship I received in August helped pay for my third year at the Walsh School of Foreign Service. It afforded me the opportunity take an unpaid internship with the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement at the U.S. Department of State, where I discovered my interest in intelligence.
The Lint Center mentorship program then connected me with professionals in that field. Not only have they shared their time and experience freely, they have also been great resources. One mentor even pointed me to another scholarship, which I received senior year through the Association of Former Intelligence Officials (AFIO).
Many mentors within the Lint Center, Georgetown, and other communities also encouraged me to keep up my Arabic language study. It turned out to be one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received. Arabic has taken on huge personal and academic significance and has led me to new friendships, new places, and new opportunities. The U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is one such opportunity, and I am excited to study Arabic in an intensive overseas language institute this summer.
What awaits me in the future is uncertain. But this does not scare me. My generation’s experience so far has been marked by nothing if not uncertainty—with failed states, international terrorism, economic crises, and job insecurity. Rather than cynicism, however, we have responded with determination. There is no more exciting or invigorating time in U.S. history to be in defense and intelligence, and I cannot wait to see what we can do.
About the Author: Jordan Daniels is the winner of the 2010 Virginia and Frank Misselhorn Memorial Scholarship and she is an undergraduate student at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.
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