Scholar Speed Round: Amy Exposito, 2018 Bezos Student Scholar

Catch up with a student Scholar and read their rapid-fire responses to a collection of semi-random questions in the Scholar Speed Round.

By Amy Exposito

4 mins

Amy Exposito

Amy developed her Local Ideas Festival, Creatively Speaking, to teach people how to use art to discuss mental health. Creatively Speaking was a one-day event where participants attended workshops that used various forms of art, including drawing, dance and music, to discuss mental health. From this experience, Amy deepened her understanding of how to lead a group of students toward a common goal and discovered the importance of engaging the community’s voice in the planning of the festival. 

Amy is currently studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany, but is originally from Chicago. She studied Economics with minors in German and Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and will complete her undergraduate degree in March of 2024 when she returns from Germany.  

While attending UIUC, she participated extensively in an aerospace engineering club. As one of the leaders of the educational outreach program within the club, she developed STEM-related content, taught in local classrooms, and helped plan one of the biggest STEM outreach events on UIUC’s campus, Illinois Space Day.  

In her free time, Amy loves to dance, listen to music, and rock climb. Her goal is to climb in ten different countries before completing her semester abroad. She is close, having climbed in six already!  

Enjoy getting to know Amy through ten semi-random questions and answers. 

What is currently piquing your interest? I’m exploring the ways that music and dance can help me relax and focus on my mental health. I love climbing, but sometimes it can be very frustrating, especially when I don’t feel super strong. I’m in the process of realizing how much dance and music help me express myself and communicate with the world in a different way. 

If you had a theme song, what would it be and why? 2 Atoms in a Molecule by Noah and The Whale. I first heard this song on my way to school with my mom, so it always reminds me of home. It’s also a fast-paced, bubbly song that represents the way I talk to people when I’m five minutes into a conversation with them.  

Reflecting on a challenge you have faced, what was a choice you made during that time and the change that occurred because of it? At the end of my junior year of college, I was unable to find an internship, and I was upset about it since I felt like I needed one to be successful (although now I realize that is not true). I decided to go to Mexico to take Spanish-intensive courses instead. This experience changed the way I viewed my professional life, and I found my passion for community engagement and international travel.  

Scholar’s Choice Question: What are five movies that describe your personality? Little Women, Barbie, Legally Blonde, Murder Mystery, and Le Retour. 

At this moment in your life, what are you most proud of? I am most proud of trying new things and sharing new experiences while abroad while staying true to myself. 

Where is the next place on your travel bucket list? Why this location? The next place on my travel bucket list would be either the UK or Spain. Although both countries are beautiful, the reason why I want to go is to visit the friends that I’ve made while abroad. I know I will miss them dearly as soon as I get back to the US, and it would be so cool to see their hometowns! 

If you had a podcast, what would it be about? In all honesty, I think it would be about the most ridiculous moments on reality TV. I'm not actually a huge fan of reality TV, but I love talking about the crazy moments with my friends. 

What is something you’ve learned that you’d offer to others in the BSP Alumni Network as advice? It’s never too late to start something new, whether it's learning a language or trying a new sport. Also, be kind to yourself when you start. Learning takes time! 

What is the one thing you’re deeply grateful for right now? My kind, smart, and strong friends all around the world. 

Thank you, Amy! We’re grateful to have you as part of the Scholar community.