Document Type

Undergraduate Student Scholarship

Publication Date

Fall 2014


Julia Van der Ryn

Course Number

Honors 3500

Course Name

Self, Community and Service


There are not many courses taken in college that can change your perspective of the world. After taking ethics at Dominican University of California that emphasized the social issues that run against the values of a democratic society, I realized that ethics was not as black and white as I had imagined. Every person has a different set of values and beliefs morphed by their parents, their peers, and the social and cultural environment they grew up in. Thus, the perspective each individual holds on what is right and wrong differs from one person to the next.

NGS is a program in Marin that creates a college bound culture to help students get into college. The striking similarities and the definitive differences between the students at Next Generation Scholars and myself was surprising, for I had not anticipated myself opening up to the people that I had set forth to serve. At NGS, I worked with program coordinators to tutor high school students. During my time with my community partner, I realized that there was evident education inequality in the American school system that could only be changed with enforced government policies. But with such diversity found even within the American culture, can we find common ground on the ethics in education? Even though the globe is naturally diverse, a consensus on ethics and education equality can be reached.