2013 Fund Storytelling : Damian Suarez

Hello, my name is Damian Suarez and I was born and raised in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. My hobbies include playing chess, solving Rubik's cubes, and studying foreign languages. As a quarter Puerto Rican and three-fourths European, I still proudly claim my Hispanic heritage. I am learning Spanish to be able to get more in touch with my roots and communicate with some of my family who cannot speak English.


When I received my acceptance letter, I was already ecstatic. Then, I saw the 2013 Fund in the financial aid letter, and I thought that it was too good to be true. I immediately called my mom into the room and then called my dad on the phone to tell him. I probably jumped a few times with joy, to be honest. We were all excited and grateful, and my mother cried her tears of joy.


I have ultimately decided to come to NYU Shanghai for many reasons. Not only is it a great academic school, but it is also a cultural hub with students and faculty from all over the world in a country entirely different from the U.S. Studying in China helps me achieve many of my future goals and plans. Besides receiving a decent education and getting a degree valid in China, I will also have the tools needed to prepare for the international Chinese speaking contest offered by HanYuQiao. I have participated in two national competitions in the U.S. I hope to represent our school in the international HanYuQiao Chinese competition in the upcoming years. During my first three months in Shanghai, one of my best experiences was when I explored the city with my friend. We toured around Shanghai and had so much fun in this one day trip.


I feel that scholarships like the 2013 Fund are contributing greatly to the community. It helps attract students that may not have been able to pursue a higher education because of financial reasons. On a real note, if my financial aid wasn't as generous as it was, I'm afraid that I may have had no choice but not to come. In addition, scholarships and financial aid also help enhance the diversity of our student body, adding a variety of their economic background. Scholarships and funds are important because they provide valuable opportunities to students. When students have more opportunities that can shape them into bright individuals, they will give back to society in better ways.


I am so grateful that I would love to give back. When I become an alumnus, I hope to do more than just to give donations. I wish to be able to support students with similar opportunities like the ones I have now. And I would like to get involved in any way I can in return for what NYU Shanghai has given me.


--Damian Suarez, Class of 2021

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