Major - Marine Biology
Hometown - Champaign, IL
"I am not able to afford my tuition on my own, and this scholarship helps to reduce the amount of loans that I will have to pay off later."
I grew up in a small town in central Illinois. From a very young age, I always knew that I wanted to work with animals in the ocean, and by the time I was in third grade I was telling everyone that I was going to be a marine biologist when I grew up. My family is my number one priority and I did not want to move far away from them to go to college. I was willing to sacrifice my dream in order to stay close to my family. However, my senior year of high school, my dad accepted a job at the University of Washington. During this time I was looking at schools in Washington, and Western stood out to be because of its gorgeous campus and fantastic location. It was perfect for me. I love going to school here, and I was completely willing to take out loans in order to pay for my education. I try to apply for as many scholarships as possible and I am very grateful for the honor of receiving this award. It means so much to me to have support from the alumni and less financial burden.
This scholarship has made a big difference in my life. I currently work two jobs at Western (at the bookstore and as a peer advisor for study abroad.) However, I still have to take out loans in order to pay for school. I love my school and I would not choose to be anywhere else, however finances are a huge source of stress in my life. This scholarship relieves a huge portion of that stress, and allows me to concentrate on studying and enjoying my time as a student.
During the summers when I lived in Illinois, I went on a mission trip with my church. These experiences were very humbling and taught me a lot. I learned to be grateful for the things I have been given, to give what I have and to smile no matter what. I have had to go through some family hardships recently and I always find myself remembering back to those trips. They are such wonderful, happy memories and they help me to put things into perspective
I love the outdoorsy atmosphere of Bellingham and I try to take advantage of that as much as possible. I really enjoy rock climbing, yoga, spending time with my friends and traveling to new places!