Skip to Content

National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

Malika Lightbourne

Carolina Scholar

Ridge View High School
Columbia, S.C. 
Global Studies

I knew I wanted to work in human rights, but UofSC gave me the push to pursue a law degree.

Malika at Machu Picchu, Peru

Career plans: My career goals are to become a human rights activist and lawyer. I aspire to work as an immigration attorney and immigrant rights' activist and to ensure the rights of immigrants are afforded to them. My goal is to be employed by an immigrants' rights legal office or a social justice non-profit organization. 

UofSC Story: UofSC has tremendously helped me get closer to realizing my dreams. During my undergraduate experience, I have been able to participate in amazing opportunities. I was a member and publicity chair of Gamecocks Against Trafficking & Exploitation, an anti-human trafficking advocacy group, which opened my eyes to grassroots lobbying and the importance of advocacy. Being a global studies major with a concentration in Latin American conflict and security and a double minor in Spanish and law made me realize that I wanted to work in the field of immigration rights. The classes I have taken and my professors have provided a holistic understanding of Latin America and the immigrant situation here in the United States and has motivated me to pursue a career attempting to improve that situation. I knew I wanted to work in human rights, but UofSC gave me the push to pursue a law degree. 

Most impactful experience: One of the most impactful and transformative experiences was my study abroad trip to Peru. During my senior year, I traveled to Peru for two weeks and it was one of the best experiences of my life.  I saw amazing wonders such as Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca and found serenity throughout my trip. I was able to broaden my worldview and experience ways of living I never knew I could. I became more confident in myself and my abilities and formed meaningful relationships with my fellow travelers. 

Best part of the Top Scholars program: I enjoy being a part of a community of like-minded people who look out for each other. It is always nice to see another Top Scholar in class or a club.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.