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Kai O’Brien ‘25 Wins Diversity Scholarship

Kai O'Brien presenting at CUPRAP

Written by: Emma Simpson '23

Kai O’Brien ’25, a Mass Communication major from Havre de Grace, Maryland, was awarded the College and University Public Relations and Associated Professionals (CUPRAP) Diversity Scholarship. Open to all minority and LGBTQ students attending a college that has a CUPRAP representation, the Scholarship’s purpose is to attract a more diverse group of people to the professional communication field.

It was announced at the spring CUPRAP conference, where Kai gave a speech, which he says was “truly a once in a lifetime experience.” He was especially pleased that his mother was in the audience.

Kai learned about the opportunity through an announcement on the YCP portal. To win the scholarship, which is awarded based on academic ability, communication skills, financial aid, and creativity, he had to write an essay and provide a high school transcript, a current transcript, and a recommendation letter from a teacher. In his essay he wrote about “what it means to be diverse and what it means to be the ethnicity I am.” He says he also talked about how he would use his voice as an outlet for those in his community.

Kai chose a major in Mass Communication to be able to share his “gift of positivity with the world. I love interacting with people and learning new things from others.” At York College, he has met many people from different backgrounds that have given him an “eye-opening look at where my career can truly take me.” He adds, “Some of the teachers have been inspiring to listen to and develop a connection with their students that I really enjoy.” He has made new connections both in his field and within the LGBTQ community. “I have a handful of LGBT friends who are part of the Communications Department and I can proudly say they are some of the coolest people I have met. All of them come from backgrounds and cultures that are giving me different perspectives on life.”

His York College experience and interactions “helped me win this scholarship. Taking a variety of classes that focus on speech and how to properly apply information allowed me to formulate a well thought out essay,” he says.

Kai loves being able to share ideas and concerns and says, “I want to use my voice as an outlet for all people and to develop a more inclusive world.” To others considering this major or in the LGBTQ Community, he wants them to know that their voice is heard. “Trust me