I am extremely grateful to have been honored as a recipient of a two year Ronald Reagan College Leaders Scholarship in 2008-2010. Had I not received the scholarship, it would have been nearly impossible for me to continue my studies at Georgetown University without incurring additional loan debt while participating in a rigorous work study program. This would have ultimately prohibited me from taking part in numerous activities on campus and in our nation's capital.
In addition to academics, the scholarship award from The Phillips Foundation allowed me to play an active role in a wide variety of extracurricular and community service activities that, otherwise, would have been impossible. In 2008, I founded and served as the charter president of the Georgetown University Republican Women on campus. That same year, I responded to a request by the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) by also founding the District of Columbia College Republican Women’s chapter, which, when chartered, accommodated women from seven different universities in the greater Washington, DC area. It was, and is, the first organization of its kind to incorporate students from multiple universities that is chartered under the National Federation of Republican Women. I was honored that the NFRW had recognized my ability to energize conservative students on campus, especially young women, to become involved in the political process. During our inaugural year, Georgetown University Republican Women won “Best New Student Organization” from the Georgetown University Center for Student Programs.
In 2008 I was also elected to serve as a delegate from Florida’s Seventh Congressional District to the Republican National Convention. I served as a Campus Representative for Georgetown University at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and worked closely with the Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy, where I served as a Student Fellow, to conduct activities and host speakers. In 2009 I was selected as News Editor of The Georgetown Federalist newspaper, a conservative publication. I was pleased to have gone to both Scottsdale, A.Z. and Charlotte, N.C. to represent our newspaper at the annual Collegiate Network’s Editor’s Conference for two years in a row. Additionally, I contributed many articles to the newspaper as a staff writer throughout my four years at Georgetown. Meanwhile off campus, I found time to chair the Club Extensions Committee of the Florida Federation of Young Republicans and assisted the organization in starting new clubs throughout the state.
I graduated from Georgetown University cum laude in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and History and am now a third-year law student at The Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee. Following receipt of my Juris Doctor degree in May of 2013, I hope to become an officer with the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Later, I aspire to serve as a member of the Florida legislature, and, perhaps, as a member of the United States Congress. In closing, I extend my deepest gratitude to The Phillips Foundation for its financial assistance in making my college dreams come true.
Erika J. Barger
Ormond Beach, Florida