Major - Political Science/Philosophy/Economics
Hometown - Cashmere, WA
“This award has inspired me with extra ambition to get involved at Western Washington University to help others and my community while focusing on my studies.”
Throughout life we have all been guilty of playing the “What If” game. I do it to pacify my thoughts and daydream about the possibilities and choices I make in my everyday life. At a young age, I realized I am not going to excel by waiting for things to happen. Instead, I wanted to find something I was good at, so I asked myself, “What if I work harder, set high personal and academic goals, and focus on my strengths rather than my weaknesses?” This urged me to excel in the classroom, my community, and in the workplace.
My junior year in high school I enrolled at Wenatchee Valley College to advance my education, take more challenging courses, and take advantage of the financial benefits of the Running Start program. It also allowed me to graduate simultaneously from high school and junior college with an associate’s degree. The variety of classes opened my eyes to future career possibilities. My education also allowed me the opportunity to continue working at Cashmere Valley Bank in the Mortgage and Loan Servicing Department, a job I sincerely appreciate and enjoy. I feel it is a privilege to attend college, and I want to take advantage of the opportunity to learn and gain knowledge for a prosperous, successful profession and life.
Western Washington University has given me the chance to explore and broaden my interests. I understand that attending college is more than just earning a degree so I can obtain employment; it is an opportunity to mature and become a well-educated member of society. My experiences at WWU have already promoted self-growth as I experience a new social environment that requires responsibility, discipline and focus. At the completion of my first year, I am ready and excited to conquer my academic path and focus on future goals.
As I reflect back on my years of education, I am humbled and thankful for the opportunities it has given me to explore and accomplish many things. In high school, I held class offices (Freshman Class Vice-President and Sophomore Class President), worked alongside Lt. Governor Brad Owen, volunteered hundreds of hours for various charities, played a varsity sport, and was involved with various school and community activities. At WWU, I am involved in leadership and clubs such as Free-Thinkers, Philosophy, and a SHADO Hall Representative. I value the experiences, education, and personal development that I have gained and look forward to utilizing it throughout life. I realize the cost of an education is expensive, but the value of an education is priceless.
It is a privilege and honor to be the recipient of this highly respected scholarship. The high cost of obtaining a higher education is overwhelming, so I am truly grateful for the financial assistance. With the support of this scholarship, I will have more time to study and focus on my degree at Western Washington University. It is donors like the Western Alumni Association that give graciously to upcoming scholars to guarantee a brighter and self-aware generation of college students. I will strive to continue to be a good student, leader, and person. I want to be a good example to my younger siblings, to show them that hard work and perseverance pays off.
A big impact on my life was serving as Washington State’s Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen’s page during the 2012 legislative session. As a page, I was responsible for learning about the legislative process, delivering messages and mail to senators, assisting senators in caucus and, most importantly, being on the Senate floor. I saw bills become laws, live senate debates and the voting process. Lt. Governor Owen took me under his wing and was an exceptional mentor. Through him and the Page Program, I truly found something I was passionate about. I realized that through politics I can encompass my leadership abilities and my passion to help others and use my voice to make a difference. I also had the privilege of meeting governors, congressional senators, the Attorney General, and state representatives. Meeting so many important people further fueled my ambition to one day be employed in a field that makes the lives of the American people better. During this experience, I discovered how I can turn my passion into helping and leading others to unite cultural and economic differences into a career.
Another program that impacted my life was being part of the Youth United Volunteer Group. As a member, I was able to learn and experience the true meaning of selfless acts. Over the years, I have volunteered hundreds of hours in my school, community, and state. Being of service is both rewarding and beneficial to myself and those around me. Youth United encouraged me to participate in all dynamics of community service. From helping out at our community museum and schools to being a Page for the Lt. Governor of Washington, I found life more gratifying and fulfilling by helping others.
When I am not studying or working, I like to spend my free time volunteering and going on adventures with my friends and family. I believe giving back to my community is important because of the impact it makes on the lives of those in need. I also like to explore and make memories with those closest to me. I love taking advantage of the great outdoors and traveling. In the summertime, I attend several archery events, boat, fish and camp. I enjoy the peace and tranquil feeling nature offers. Traveling and exploring new cultures is also appealing. It is amazing to learn and experience new things beyond my small town. I firmly believe there is no time like now, and everyday can be an adventure of itself.