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Meet Alexandra Garcia, One of the 2016 Aftermath Collegiate Scholarship Winners

Alexandra GarciaLast Friday, we introduced Anna Li, one of the 2016 Aftermath Services Collegiate Scholarship winners. Today, we meet Alexandra Garcia, our second $1000 winner.

Alexandra attends Brooklyn College and is enrolled in the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. Like Anna, the Islip, New York student learned about the scholarship via fastweb.com, a website that pairs students with opportunities for scholarships and grants that make education more accessible. Following graduation, Garcia plans to enter the film industry by working for a post-production or visual effects house. “I am passionate about politics, human rights, and film-making,” she explains.

Social Media and Grief

As part of the selection process, students applying for the annual scholarship must plan to attend an institution of higher education, maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA, and also submit an essay addressing a topic chosen by Aftermath’s scholarship committee. This year’s essay question asked applicants to examine the subject of grief and social media. Garcia said that the subject at first seemed unusual to her, but the more she thought about it, the more she recognized its validity: “When writing about social media’s impact on the grieving process, it surprised me how quickly I became so emotionally invested in what I was writing. I definitely have a new appreciation of this topic after applying for the Aftermath Services Scholarship.”

Alexandra’s essay drew on her own experiences and astute observations of grief within her personal and professional circles. She also researched the subject in order to offer a more critical examination, as well as practical advice for handling grieving online. “I had never thought critically about this topic,” she states, “but sitting down to study and analyze it made me realize just how much of an impact social media has had on my own grieving processes, and the different ways I have personally seen it employed by others.”

Read an Excerpt from the Essay

The conclusion to Garcia’s essay exposes what some consider both a positive and negative aspect of social media. The desire to be visible and receive validation through reassurance can feel empty to some, while others thrive on connections maintained over great distances. Garcia writes:

“The wide range appeal of social media is steeped largely in the universal recognition of our own mortality. Humans have always had the natural desire to be acknowledged and appreciated if not admired. Social media can allow us to feel significant, connected, or at least heard. It gives us a sense of permanence despite our inherently earthly fate of transience. And this is no less meaningful to those who have lost a loved one. Not everyone can afford a large and expensive funeral service. Very few among us will ever have our statue bronzed in a town square. But that does not make us any less loved or our lives any less valuable. Posting about a deceased loved one has become a way of not only honoring them, but prolonging their memory by immortalizing it in the digital universe. Bringing their name, photo, or story to the screens of an audience (of any size) is an action that extends past the fleeting days of wakes and funerals. It brings with it a message that this person mattered and continues to matter. That they should not be forgotten. That they live on in the hearts and minds of those who love and miss them each day.”

Aftermath’s Three Pillars

Aftermath contests and giveaways help promote the core pillars of our company: community, education, and safety. From the Aftermath Collegiate Scholarship to the Annual K9 Contest,  and other community grants, sponsorships, and funding, Aftermath is happy to give back to the people who live and work with us each and every day. Furthermore, Aftermath is committed to providing compassionate, professional care during the most difficult situations. Aftermath technicians are available nationwide 24/7 to better serve you. If you’ve experienced tragic circumstances such as a homicide or suicide in your home, or have need of other biohazard cleanup services, please call 877-872-4339.

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