We’re taught to ask, ‘How can I make a difference?’ | Macaulay Honors College

08/11/2018

Student and Alumni News
Briana Merritt '18 (John Jay)
Briana Merritt ’18 (John Jay)

“During my senior year in high school, I did an internship at a small law firm in my town and I found out that I really enjoyed learning the legal language,” says Briana Merritt ’18 (John Jay).

After getting into Macaulay, Merritt looked at John Jay’s Law and Society major and realized it was a perfect fit with her newfound passion for the law. Being a Macaulay Honors student opened a whole new world for her. “It’s such a well-rounded honors program. It includes a cultural aspect, learning about the city and the arts,” says Merritt. But the best part of her college experience was working with the Pre-Law Institute. “It both prepared me and reaffirmed my chosen career path. I met Dr. Charles Robert Davidson when I was a senior in high school interviewing for Macaulay,” says Merritt. “And when I came to John Jay, he became the director of the Pre-Law Institute Program. He got me connected with all the events and different people in the field.”

In 2019 Merritt will be attending Emory University School of Law in Atlanta. After studying abroad in Spain, and taking an international law class at John Jay, she’s set her sights on practicing international law, focusing on human rights.

“Here at John Jay we learn to take the knowledge we’re getting and apply it to society. We’re taught to ask, ‘How can I make a difference?’ In my career I want to make a global impact on issues such as human trafficking, genocide and nuclear weapons,” says Merritt. “We think of these things as large-scale issues, but they affect real people in many countries. I want to hear those stories and help change their lives.”