University: Columbia University
Major: Urban Studies
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Biography: My name is Claudia Szaflarski. Studying Political Science (which did not feel quite right) to English (which did not feel quite right either) to Urban Studies (which finally feels quite right) at Columbia University, I am learning to find possibility in every second. I think it began, while I stood there holding a “Students>Profits” sign for a protest against Chicago Public Schools budget cuts. Officials smirked, “well, what can you do about it?”
Canvass door to door from the streets of Chicago to the sidewalks of Monmouth County. Write with incarcerated children in Cook County to incarcerated adults in Rikers Island. Collectively protest police brutality at the local level. Collectively write a bill in favor of demilitarizing the NYPD at the state level. Collectively lobby a bill in favor of sentencing reform at the national level. A lot, actually.
It can be my thoughts, the hugs I get for breakfast on Sunday mornings, Polish snippets in between immigration stories, a heated conversation with a public official—my eyes are wide and endless. And the possibilities are pulsing.