Short Essay: What are you passionate about and why?

A house is a trove of memories; a source of dignity and pride; the essence of security – or at least it’s supposed to be. When my family was evicted from our fading domicile on Alexander Street, I began to question my right to the city I called home. There, the crib my younger brother had once slept in strewn in pieces across the driveway. There, the law enforcement officials I had once revered cajoling my mother to pay a bribe. My mother, frail and alone, did her best to shield her children from the secondary evils of that day. However, she could not protect me when, several years later, I was detained by an armed soldier after resisting his advances as I walked to work.

Experiences such as these opened my eyes to the ‘gendered slant’ in Urban Planning: cities often fail to take the social infrastructure needs of women into account. And while I may have to contend with several obstacles to my success in the city, I am determined to lend my abilities to the development of urban infrastructure that will enable future generations to lead safe and effective lives. Regardless of gender, race, or creed.

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