AN OPPORTUNITY MAKER: Carrie Montgomery, SEO Scholars Alumna
In my new book, The Opportunity Makers, I chronicle not just the history of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) but the stories of many young people who, with the help of SEO, have not only achieved success in college and their careers but have helped to create opportunities for others.
Carrie Montgomery is one of those young people. Growing up in an especially tough part of the South Bronx, she was “determined to have a brighter future and to help my family out of poverty.” Her mother stressed the importance of education as a pathway to that goal and SEO Scholars helped light the way. In 2009, Carrie earned two prestigious awards—a Gates Millennium Scholarship and a New York Times Scholarship--that helped her attend Columbia University, where she majored in history and human rights. In 2011, Carrie co-founded Columbia University’s Public Service Initiative, a mentoring program that helps high school students gain access to college. That same year, she won a Ronald E. McNair Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education and a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship from the Institute for International Education. During the summers, Carrie interned at a number of major New York City law firms, the U.S. Department of Justice and The New York Times.
After receiving her BA ,Carrie completed a Master’s degree in human rights studies at Columbia and worked as a paralegal in the New York office of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she worked on legal cases involving a variety of issues, including civil rights and mortgage fraud. She is currently enrolled in the Juris Doctor program at Columbia University Law School.
Carrie has also remained closely involved with SEO, serving as a founding member of the organization’s Junior Leadership Board. Her life experience has made Carrie especially committed to “showing generations younger than me that anything is possible. I want to have the same influence on them that my SEO mentor ReNika Moore and President Barack Obama have had on me.”
All proceeds from the sales of The Opportunity Makers go to support SEO Scholars