Aminn Mercado Obermayer

UWC attended: Armand Hammer United World College of the American West (USA)
Class Year: Class of 2024

A spot that lies in between two countries, Brazil and Paraguay, is where I grew up, a place where four cities combine with each other. Essentially, it is where thousands of stories conflate, where you find difficulty in telling exactly from which part of the world people come from; a place where too many languages are used in one sentence and flavors in food are mixed. My choice of Lewis & Clark is related to my experience growing up in a community built in a city in the middle of everything, where you can take the calmness, but have enough chaos to keep you growing.

I believe that the treasure of UWC is in the gift people leave you with in such ephemeral circumstances, in how hundreds of stories connect each other, turning a place —sometimes in the middle of the mountains— magical in a unique way. UWC expanded my sense of amazement for people, never failing to surprise me, even with the simplest things. My leading path to UWC was mostly through my years of work in the field of education and community development, having led different projects in my community focusing on different areas along with starting my own organization which propelled changes in the way teenagers acted on their education and future. This was accompanied by a sense of wonder, which granted me with different opportunities to travel around the world and so define my different interests.

Contrary to the expectations of my academic career, I plan to continue my fascination for the world of science through Biology —along with Psychology—, a longtime producer of scintillas in my mind through discovering the mechanisms in which life works. I find a certain beauty in the systems connecting our surroundings, mostly enhanced by small underseen things. There has always been a conflict with the incessant joy of helping people and the amusement found in science, which is the reason for my intentions to go into medicine later on.

During my time at Lewis & Clark, I hope to keep working in the field of education, especially with kids. I also hope to work for improving access to sexual education, mental health, and equity, as it has been one of my main focuses over the past years. Certainly, I do plan to spend a lot of time in the woods, so as to get to the ocean as much as possible—I happen to spend a lot of time outside—so anything related works.