Academic Excellence: Shivanie Hariram ’24 Lands Fellowship and Consulting Job with assistance from LEAP Program
In order to successfully navigate our rapidly changing world, it is paramount that students strive for academic excellence throughout their journey at John Jay College. The students featured in our “Academic Excellence” article series have actively demonstrated an exceptional ability to excel in their educational endeavors. Because of their intellectual abilities, finely honed skills, and selfless leadership qualities, these students are often selected for competitive programs, awards, scholarships, fellowships, and research opportunities that further enrich their studies. We hope their achievements will inspire us all to pursue excellence in our own academic and professional journeys.
After settling into her declared political science major, 24-year-old Shivanie Hariram’s decision was made. “I was stuck in the fact that I wasn’t going to minor in anything because I felt like I didn’t need to,” she says. Then Hariram met his LEAP (Linking Experience, Academics, and Practice) advisor, Anita DeVarie, and his mind opened up to a whole new set of possibilities. “Anita sent me this list of minors, and when I saw the Homeland Security minor, I started to get pissed off. It was unique, interesting, and a perfect fit with my political science major,” says Hariram, who currently has a 4.0 GPA “Without Anita and the encouragement I received at LEAP, I don’t know if I would have found my minor or an amazing scholarship opportunity.”
Discover his passion
Hariram’s interest in political science and national security came directly from his family’s experience. She wasn’t born when 9/11 happened, but her grandparents and parents had worked at the World Trade Center for a long time before it was attacked. “It was 2000 when they all moved to Florida – that’s how I ended up being born there – but for years I would hear my mum talking about the buildings and she wondered what would have happened. if they had stayed there,” says Hariram, a sophomore who proudly identifies as Guyanese American and Hindu. Seeing his family’s angst over 9/11 sparked Hariram’s desire to learn more about national security and political science, even prompting him to take college courses in those fields before graduating. of high school.
“Our relationship started with an email, but now Anita and the entire LEAP team are such tremendous support for my John Jay journey.” —Shivanie Hariram
When Hariram was in first grade, she received an email about LEAP and watched a video information session about the program. “They announced who they were and introduced themselves. Subsequently, Anita contacted me and we set up an appointment. From there, we got on really well and built an amazing relationship,” she says. In addition to personally counseling Hariram, DeVarie sought out opportunities that would enhance his student’s leadership skills and abilities. “Anita recently took me to the same LEAP introductory meeting I had been to before, but this time I was talking about the scholarship I got through LEAP. Our relationship started with an e- mail, but now Anita and the entire LEAP team are tremendous support for my John Jay journey, warm, nurturing, knowledgeable people who clearly want the best for students.
Landing the America Needs You Fellowship
The two-year scholarship DeVarie suggested for Hariram was part of America needs you, an organization rooted in the belief that socioeconomic status should not be a barrier to academic persistence or professional success. They also focus on uplifting students, like Hariram, who are the first in their family to attend college. “They offer workshops on different topics like time management and interview techniques. They ask you to create your own resume and they have their own specially designed resume that is identifiable with the workplaces so they know this is an America Needs You student,” says Hariram. “Having an America Needs You resume is actually how I landed my summer consulting job.” Each America Needs You Fellow is also paired with a Mentor Coach. “He’s a professional who has been through college life and can offer advice in any way you need it. They are absolutely amazing and you can really tell they care about first generation students, students from color and underrepresented students.
Maintain academic excellence
Currently, Hariram has a GPA of 4.0 and she credits this academic dedication to her parents’ work ethic and drive. “My mom and dad instilled in me that my academics always come first. They showed me that I always want to put 100 percent effort and professionalism into everything I do,” she says. “I am one of those people who is looking for mentors, opportunities and ways to help others.That’s how I was raised and I will always strive to be that way.
Helping Others Succeed
Hariram’s desire to help others led her to another John Jay opportunity, becoming a Student Success Programs (SASP) Peer Success Coach. “It’s really interesting to learn how to deal with the different needs and dynamics of the students,” says Hariram. “As a peer-to-peer success coach, a lot of that comes down to being able to communicate effectively.” She credits the program with giving her a boost of confidence, better interpersonal skills, a new awareness of her own conflict resolution skills, and a strong family of support staff and fellow coaches.
“If LEAP has shown me anything, it’s that I have to be open to all the possibilities that life throws at me.” —Shivanie Hariram
To look forward
As a first-generation student brought to college like a fish to water, Hariram envisions herself delving even deeper into higher education in the future. “Higher education is for me. I feel like I can do something big with my education,” she says. After getting his bachelor’s degree, Hariram hopes to move on to a master’s and even a doctorate. “I want to be the first person in my family to get their doctorate. I want to work in a government institution, maybe become an analyst for the NSA [National Security Agency], she said enthusiastically. “If LEAP has shown me anything, it’s that I have to be open to all the possibilities that life throws at me.”