Western Washington University Alumni Association

Jessica Stanley

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!





Western Washington University Alumni Association logo

Western Washington University
Alumni Association

516 High Street, MS 9199
Bellingham, WA 98225
360.650.3353 | alumni.wwu.edu
WWU is an equal opportunity institution.