By Jessica Weber | Photos by Stan Lim

Samantha Park Photo

Samantha Park, 20, is a third-year creative writing and comparative literature major from Fresno. (UCR/Stan Lim)

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What an honor

Park has received scholarships each of her three years at UCR, maintaining a 3.75 GPA while double majoring, working full-time, and supporting her family financially. A first-generation college student, Park received the Freshman Scholarship through the UCR Alumni Association, followed by the Brithinee Scholarship her second year, and the Sher-Right Scholarship this year. Park was also awarded an S.L. Gimbel Foundation Scholarship Fund award last year, which she learned of through her participation in the University Honors program. “It was my first time applying for it, and they really helped a lot; they were very generous,” she said.


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Music Notes

Rhythm and meter

Park has loved writing poetry since first exploring the genre in her eighth-grade honors English class. “It became a good outlet for me to express my emotions, talk about my feelings, so I started doing it on my own,” she said. In high school, she attended Fresno State University’s annual Young Writers’ Conference three times, and had four poems published in the conference’s journal Spectrum. She received the Henry Madden Library Award in 2016 and the Fresno Writers Award in 2017. “It was pretty cool,” she said of the honors. “It was the first time I ever made any money off my work.”


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Cut, copy, paste

Through an internship, Park works as editor-in-chief for a new digital lifestyle magazine called On campus, she has served as an editor for UCR’s chapter of the website Her Campus for the last two years. “The goal is to give voice to college women and offer a platform for women in college to get published and talk about the things they want to talk about,” she said. Park is also a poetry editor for UCR’s undergraduate literature journal Mosaic.


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Sticky tabs

Park tutors K-12 students at Nobel Learning Academy in Corona and works as a stage technician for the UCR Theater. Now that the pandemic has afforded her some extra free time, Park has also taken up baking as a hobby. With such a full schedule, she stays organized by keeping to-do lists on Post-it notes. “It’s difficult, but I love doing it, so it’s worth it to me,” she said of all her activities.


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In print

Ultimately, she hopes to have her poetry and a novel published, and to one day become the editor-in-chief of a book publisher. “I’ve known what I’ve wanted to do since I was 12,” she said. “These are my goals — I’m going to achieve them if I set my mind to it.”


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