Nathanial A. Payonk

Nathanial A. Payonk

Major: Public Affairs (Law and Public Policy)

Minor: Nonprofit Management

School: School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Hammond, Indiana

IU Student Involvement: Merchandise and Apparel Committee of IU Dance Marathon (IUDM); Social Chair of IU Phi Kappa Sigma; Telefund of IU Foundation; Congressional Fellow at National Student Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. (summer 2017); IU SPEA Study Abroad Program to Barcelona, Spain (summer 2018)

How 21stCentury Has Helped You Succeed: “The IU 21st Century Scholars Program has played a critical role in my college career. Without the program and the scholarship, it would not be possible for me to attend Indiana University Bloomington. Being a first generation college student is not easy but the IU 21st Century Scholars Program has been such a blessing to me. The entire 21st century scholars staff has helped me significantly with my academic and career goals. The free tutoring and student support services they provide have helped me to succeed in my writing and math classes. Whether it’s submitting my financial aid or getting academic advising support, the IU 21st Century Scholars Program has been there for me and I am forever grateful for the program.”

Why IU: "IU has always been the school for me. Growing up, I watched the IU basketball with my brothers and my dad. They would always talk about the campus and the school spirit during and after the basketball games and that’s something that always stuck with me. IU is such a great school and the campus is extremely beautiful. The fact that the IU 21st Century Scholars Program covers my tuition and the opportunity to attend a world-class research university is amazing. IU has given me all of the skills and resources I need to be successful and I hope one day I can give back philanthropically to the program that has given me so much."

Future Goals: "My dream is to work in the U.S. federal government after Indiana University. I would love to work in the U.S. house or U.S. senate as an elected official one day. I will be completing a summer internship in Washington D.C. with a congressman and I am excited to have the opportunity to network with leading politicians, mayors, and senior government officials. I am passionate about public policy and public justice issues and I hope to one day advocate for the underserved marginalized communities in the U.S. My parents have always told me to give back and to make a difference, and I want to do that through advocacy and legislation."