ARLINGTON, VA – If you’re Ana Little-Saña from San Diego, California, and one of your assignments as a high school senior is to research and apply for five different scholarships, you don’t just google “scholarships,” you google “fun, eclectic, unique, and weird scholarships.” Because Little-Saña believes in heading down the road less traveled. If she has a comfort zone, you can bet she’s going to break out of it.
And the National Rice Month (NRM) Scholarship Video Contest she found online was definitely a departure for this student growing up in the San Diego suburbs who knew nothing about agriculture. But with a little groundwork and a lot of creativity, Little-Saña produced an award-winning video for last year’s first ever NRM scholarship video contest.
The money she received from Dow Agro-Sciences helped Little-Saña trade her picture perfect San Diego lifestyle for the more challenging climate and environment of Washington, DC, as she chose to study at George Washington University (GWU), located across the Potomac River from the USA Rice office here.
Little-Saña is in her second semester at GWU where she’s majoring in political science, is a Cisneros Scholar with a commitment to leadership and community service, and currently has an internship at the Truman Center for National Policy.
What little free time Little-Saña has is either spent competing on the GWU intramural water polo team or exploring the many facets of Washington DC. “Our school doesn’t have a dining hall but we have a meal card that is accepted at a lot of different restaurants around the city,” said Saña. “I make a point to get out of the geographic comfort zone around GWU and discover new places to eat while checking out unfamiliar parts of town.”
Earlier this week, Little-Saña added to her favorite restaurants list when she made the trek from GWU to USA Rice and shared a sushi lunch with USA Rice staff. From her research, Little-Saña remembered that most sushi rice consumed in the U.S. is produced in her home state of California. She also said her mother’s family, who live in Spain, has an affinity for U.S.-grown rice even though Spain has its own rice growing region.
Another reminder that doing the unexpected and going against the grain runs in the Little-Saña family!