Nicole Krushtul completed her work at CUNY Hunter College this past spring, where she was a JFEW Eleanor Roosevelt Scholar and studied Political Science and Public Policy. After college, she lived in Australia and is now participating in the New York City Urban Fellows Program, a leadership development program for young professionals interested in urban policy, local government, and public service.
We chatted with Nicole about her experiences as a JFEW Scholar.
JFEW: What was the most meaningful lesson that you learned while in college?
NK: The most meaningful lessons I learned through college is that although the world can be overwhelmingly complex and frightening, each and every one of us is capable of standing up for what we believe in. One of my heroes once said, “Let the ideas in your mind be fueled by the conviction in your heart.” The world faces many challenging problems, but there are also many ways we can create a collective impact. Throughout my time in college, I learned about individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions that fought against injustice and inequality. Programs like JFEW's Eleanor Roosevelt scholarship and the Public Policy Program interwove the knowledge, hope, and compassion inside the classroom that I hope to take out into the world.
JFEW: What do you wish that you knew when you were a freshman?
NK: When I was a freshman, I wish I knew how important it was to take advantage of the resources at Hunter. Most professors are dedicated to imparting their knowledge — whether about their subject expertise or their personal journeys — to help create a new generation of leaders. Mentorship can go a long way, and establishing close connections with professors and advisors is crucial.
JFEW: What was your proudest accomplishment during your time in college?
NK: There are many personal accomplishments I am proud of from my time at Hunter, but most importantly, I find myself constantly proud of my peers. Hunter College is a school of dedicated, passionate students. Many work one or two part-time jobs and still thrive in their classes. Some of them are the main caretaker in their families. Some struggled to navigate the landscape of higher education as the first in their family to go to college. I am grateful to have met fellow students who challenged, inspired, and motivated me.