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Carla Robertson

Carla Robertson
Year/Track: 2015
Hometown: Born in Gifu, Japan but grew up in Fairview, Penn.
Major: Marketing and Japanese

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Vincent Wiraatmadja



Vincent Wiraatmadja

Hometown: La Crescenta, CA
Undergraduate: University of California, Irvine
Major: History
Year/Track: 2014

When Vincent was 14, his mom was diagnosed with a disease called aplastic anemia.  She underwent chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, and a host of post-procedure complications. It was a long and painful process that radically altered his family's life.   The entire ordeal became a vivid reminder that life is a relatively short thing; something that can end in an instant- or wither away over the course of four long months. 

Watching all of this happen has an odd impact on a fourteen year old.  Being reminded that life is short pushed him to become more adventurous.  To leave the comfort of his suburban bubble and see more of the world.  Vincent found himself traipsing across the globe, from the deserts of New Mexico to the floating markets of Thailand to the cobblestone streets of Florence. 

He also developed something of an adrenaline addiction.  At the ripe age of 15, Vincent got a dive license.  This has allowed him to experience some of the greatest moments in his life: getting tangled in a kelp forest and having his dive buddy's father cut him out; swimming through a school of barracuda off the Australian coast; and kneeling at the bottom of a Hawaiian reef in the dead of night, as massive manta rays swooped over his head.  At some point in the future, he predicts that one of his stories will involve sharks... From the safety of a cage, of course.  Over the past few years, Vincent has jumped off a bridge and out of an airplane.  All in the name of living life while it's good... And also to get a good story or two.

Vincent's mother's sickness also reminded him to live not only an adventurous life, but a good life.  A life that matters, that has an impact beyond his own little world.  A clichéd goal, but ideas become clichéd because they are true.  At first, this prompted Vincent to try to become a doctor.  But after some time, he realized that his talents lay elsewhere and that he wanted to be able to influence the world at a policy level.  And so Vincent decided to go to law school. 

Having been born and raised in California, he was not keen to leave the Golden State.  Sacramento, as the capital of this vast state and with its myriad government agencies, seemed like a good choice for what Vincent wanted to accomplish.  With its Capital Center for Public Law and Policy, McGeorge was a good fit for him.

Three semesters into law school, he has found new opportunities beyond what he initially envisioned for himself.  Vincent has pushed forward with his goal of gaining an understanding of policy through courses like the California Initiative Seminar.  But he has also found a new passion for courtroom advocacy after earning a spot on McGeorge Mock Trial Scrimmage team.  The changes and personal growth that have occurred during law school have caused Vincent to broaden his thinking about where his career will go. 

He finds it hard to predict what the next five years will bring.  Vincent's dual interests in advocacy and policy would match well somewhere in the vicinity of the Capitol, where he can use both skills to great effect. 

Vincent's mom survived her ordeal.  Twelve years later, she is practicing as a hospice nurse and caring for those who, like she was, are in extreme states of illness.  In his own way, Vincent plans to contribute to the world like she does, and he wants to live a good life.  (Photo: Will Liu)

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