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R-MWC Rising Senior Finalist for New York Times Contest

Lianna Carrera one of 12 finalists selected from 4,000 essay applications

5/24/2006 10:16:05 AM


LYNCHBURG – A Randolph-Macon Woman’s College student is one of just 12 students selected by the New York Times as a finalist for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa with journalist Nick Kristof.

Lianna Carrera, a rising senior from Springfield, Va., was selected from nearly 4,000 applications from American college and graduate student applicants.

While she did not win the contest, she was honored to be a finalist.

“I applied for the contest because I wanted to take myself out of my comfort zone,” Carrera said. “Going to a liberal arts college teaches you that the whole world at your door step. Whether it is taking golf lessons, dancing for the first time, making documentaries, walking on to the basketball team, or running for class office, every opportunity is yours to seize.

“You never know what you're capable of until you take yourself out of your comfort zone and constantly challenge what you think your limitations are,” she added. “I'm not a journalist and the idea of being in a Malaria infested jungle scares me to death. But those are limitations and I was prepared to exceed them because that's what a life more abundant is all about. I knew that I wasn't the typical choice for this opportunity, but that only pushed me to try harder. If you don't put yourself out there, then you won't ever be given the chance to be that choice.”

The winner of the contest will accompany Kristof, the Op-Ed and TimeSelect columnist for the New York Times, on a reporting trip to Africa in September.

”I am honored to know that my application was recognized by the New York Times staff,” Carrera said. “Being in the top 12 out of 4,000 applications feels like a dream. It goes to show, anything is possible if you just try. I walk away with a sense of accomplishment and an insatiable thirst to continue to seize every opportunity that comes my way. “

For more information on the trip, and to read Carrera’s essay, please go to:

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations