“A college education not only allows me to achieve what seemed unachievable to my parents, but it also gives me the opportunity to grow as a person…persistence and hard work can get you anywhere.”

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Ava's Photography:

Ava Socik

University of Yale
Major: Psychology & Pre-Med


QuestionWhy is a college education important to you?

AnswerGrowing up, it was instilled in me that a good education was vital to a good future, that only a good education could help me live an easier life. My parents both came to the United States to escape the wraths of Communism. They sacrificed the opportunity to get an education for a chance at a better life. I, however, could take the next step in the American dream. Throughout my childhood, my mother pushed me in school emphasizing that better opportunities come if you work hard. And she was right. The harder I worked in school, the more doors opened for me. I am still pursuing the dream of becoming a doctor, something that was not possible for my mother because of various obstacles. Through me, my mother was living her dream of completing school and eventually living an easier life. Whereas my parents toiled over ever dollar, a college education could allow for a more comfortable lifestyle with less worries; something my parents have been working for their entire lives.

Being a Junior at Yale University now, I realize how many opportunities I would have missed by not going to college. I have been able to take courses that not only challenge me mentally, but that also build me as a person. I have been given the opportunity to travel to far away places, to experience exotic cultures and to pursue my greatest passion – photography. I have met people from around the world who are also pursing their life dreams. Being in such an environment influences me to push forward even harder.

A college education not only allows me to achieve what only seemed unachievable to my parents, but it also gives me the opportunity to grow as a person. Although my parents gave up so much to give me the opportunity for a better life, I am grateful that they have given me the chance to go to college.

Question How has the Arbor Falls Foundation scholarship made a difference in your life?

AnswerI will be forever grateful for the Arbor Falls Foundation. Without them, not even the idea of college could have been possible for me. Not only have they provided me with financial support, but academic support as well. Like my parents, they encourage me in everything that I do, from schoolwork to summer research projects or even my photography. Because of the Arbor Falls Foundation, I have one less thing to worry about and, instead, I can enjoy the college experience more fully.

Question What words of encouragement would you offer to others seeking to further their education?

AnswerDon’t stop believing! Although it may seem that life throws us curveballs, obstacles are always there for a reason. Push through and you are guaranteed life rewards, I promise you that. My parents, just like many immigrants, came to the United States with a few dollars in their pockets. A college education for their children did not even seem like a plausible idea. But persistence and hard work can get you anywhere.