While Vincent was growing up, his family lived close to a Gurdwara—a Sikh temple—which sparked his interest in learning more about the language and culture of the Punjab region. He was awarded the Critical Language Scholarship twice to study Punjabi in 2015 and 2017 in Chandigarh, India.
While Vincent was on the CLS Program, he bonded with his language partner over mutual experiences leading and organizing student groups at their respective universities. Working with groups of university students, and working within a small cohort of CLS scholars, Vincent was able to hone the skill of working with students and organizing groups, which he applies to his current position at The Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), an organization that monitors factories and advocates for apparel workers around the globe. Vincent specifically works with American universities to investigate where their apparel comes from to uphold international labor standards. The garment workers he advocates for often do not speak Punjabi, but he is able to utilize other valuable skills that he learned on the program.
“My experience with CLS has allowed me to develop cross cultural communication skills that have improved my ability to advocate for garment workers around the globe. My experiences have also lent me regional, on the ground expertise that is valuable in the work of the WRC.”
His sister, Ariana, was also awarded a Critical Language Scholarship in 2019 to study Punjabi. Vincent traveled to India to visit her while she was on the program, and introduced her to his host family. In the future, Vincent hopes to continue to study Punjabi and pursue a graduate degree focused on the history and geography of Chandigarh.
“CLS changed the course of my life in so many ways and has given me a strong foundation for my career. I have a deep appreciation for the people of Punjab and the culture and community of Chandigarh, India.”
February 11, 2020