2005 Robert D. & Margaret A. Wark Memorial Scholarship Recipient
Biography: Alexander William Hebert-Brown was born and raised in San Diego, California. As an only child, it was only recently that he realized how spoiled he was, and how good he had it in life. Though as things go, that is something better to learn late than never. In elementary and middle school he was (mostly) eager and (somewhat) attentive, though he never felt much of a clear “calling” in life, at least in regard to a career path. Adults would tell him that he had many years to decide, so it never bothered him much. For a short time he considered being a baseball player and a fireman, concurrently. It made logical sense to him that he could play baseball, but leave the game quickly if a fire broke out somewhere. Those were much simpler times back then; luckily he has since come to the realization of how untenable that plan was. As unlikely as it may seem, Alex’s interest in economics began in a time that is almost universally devoid of any academic interest or rigor-namely his senior year of high school. At a time when many students are simply counting the days until graduation, Alex was introduced to a subject that interested him like no other had before. Little did he know, economics was always something that had been of interest to him; his mother recalls that one of his first words was “money.” This innate attraction naturally led him to the business economics major at UCLA, which he will be graduating with in the spring. Though he is still unsure exactly what he wants to do career-wise, he is increasingly happy to take the advice he was given at the age of five and “wait a few more years.”
Future Plans: For the last two years Alex has been working as a math tutor at Inglewood High School through Gear Up (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). He has found this experience to be very rewarding and educational, and it has encouraged him to join the Teach For America program upon graduation. While he has not yet gone through the application and screening process for the program, he would ideally like to teach high school economics in an inner-city, urban setting. Coming from an inner city school himself, he strongly feels compelled to “give back” in the larger, metaphysical sense, to reciprocate for the benefits he received in high school that have allowed him to succeed thus far in life. After completing the two-year teaching program he can eventually see himself going to business school to obtain an MBA, though he concedes it will likely be many years off.
What does the scholarship mean to me?: Being selected as a Robert D. & Margaret A. Wark Memorial Scholarship winner has helped ease much of the financial related stress of my senior year. The scholarship has made me feel more self-sufficient, independent, and confident in myself and my abilities. While I understand that independence literally means not relying on something else, I also know that there is no shame in taking advantage of a golden opportunity when it arises. On that note I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Dr. David Wark for making his scholarship available to me, along with every other generous person that has made the UCLA Economics Department Undergraduate Scholarships possible.