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Law becomes focus of career, life

While some students took a break from classes and studying this summer, two USF students were selected to attend the Summer for Undergraduates Program at Florida State Law.

Timothy Surface, a senior majoring in general business, and Kyle Castello, a sophomore majoring in communications, said the four-week program at Florida State University is designed to “prepare students for law school” through classroom instruction, guest speakers and social networking events with law professionals.

According to the program’s website, about 60 undergraduates are selected to attend the program from across the nation every summer.

“I want to study environmental law and look out for the interests of farmers and their farms,” Surface said. “(The program) taught me that I need to work harder to get into the law schools I want.”

He said that he became interested in environmental law because his grandmother owns a farm and one day he “hopes to be able to secure it for his family.”

Surface said that the program looks for “unique, passionate people” and those who “need help getting into law school.”

“The most rewarding experience for me was meeting people with different points of view and interests in law,” he said.

Castello said that upon returning from the program he switched his major from sociology to communications.

“I knew that I would need something that had a focus in public speaking and writing,” he said.

Castello said he is interested in doing “some sort of public service work,” representing those who don’t get “adequate representation.”

“I’m attracted to the public service aspect because if you change the legislation, then you change how society behaves,” he said.

One lesson Castello said he learned at the conference is that a career in law can give him the opportunity to “give back to (the community) without (asking for) anything in return.”

“One lawyer at the conference donated $25,000 to the school, like it was nothing,” he said.

Castello said that he was chosen by Janeia Daniels, director of the FSU program, to speak on behalf of the students at the closing ceremony.

Linda Lucas, director of the Office of National Scholarships at USF, said her office aims to help students “strengthen their application for national merit scholarships.”

“The process (of applying) is a growth process – so whether students win or not – they can discover how amazing they are,” she said.

Lucas said USF has “a lot to contribute” to the “global economy and environment,” and the scholarships her office offers can “catapult students to that level.”

“It opens a world to people they might otherwise not know about and not see themselves apart of,” Lucas said. “We welcome students from all majors. They shouldn’t self-select (themselves) out.”