“I believe we should never stop learning, but consistently enhance who we are and what we know. Because of this scholarship I have had some of the greatest moments of my life and have met some of the most wonderful people.”
Why is a college education important to you?
A college education is extremely important because it is a portrayal of the success I have achieved in my life. I have always had a passion for music and people, and studying Music Education seemed like the best way to develop my interests. As I look back and recall the challenges I have faced obtaining my degree, I am reminded of the numerous times I have wanted to give up school and stop trying. However, I pressed on. There were difficult obstacles along the way, but learning and following my studies brought great joy to my life. My motivation to persevere also arose from the fact that after attending college, I would be the only one in my entire family to receive a college education. I wanted more than what my parents and family could offer me, and deciding to get a degree provided me with many more opportunities.
Having a college education also means being informed of different parts of life. With my degree I feel I can be a more equipped contributor to society. Aside from my major classes, taking general education courses enlightened me with information that is cross-cultural, affecting all parts of life. My degree is an indicator that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. For this reason, it is the most important decision I’ve made.
How has the Arbor Falls Foundation scholarship made a difference in your life?
The Arbor Falls Foundation scholarship has had an enormous impact on my college career. I come from a large family with 6 children. My parents did not receive a college education, and at times were not successful finding jobs. This presented many financial obstacles, thus leaving my college aspirations last on their list. I was left to pay for my education all on my own. In my last year of high school I applied to many foundations in search of means to assist me on my journey. I ended up with enough resources to get me through my first year of college. However, how I was going to pay for the rest of my career was a whole other story, of which I wasn’t quite sure of the outcome. Through a friend I heard of the Arbor Falls Foundation scholarship. I thought of my involvement with school and decided I was eligible to apply. After finding out that I was going to be a recipient of the scholarship, I was overwhelmed with relief and so joyful that I was going to be able to continue my education.
This scholarship has allowed me to experience many great opportunities. Because this scholarship assisted with tuition, room and board, I was able to advance my experiences in other areas. I was able to play collegiate traveling volleyball, go on a school sponsored mission trip, and tour with my choir. The Arbor Falls Foundation supported the furthering of my education and my college experiences. Because of this, I have had some of the greatest moments of my life and have met some of the most wonderful people. I am truly grateful for the resources they have provided for me and their continued support.
What words of encouragement would you offer to others seeking to further their education?
I strongly encourage everyone to continue their education after high school, in one way or another. I am very grateful for all of the knowledge that I have learned in my college courses. But I honestly believe that the majority of my maturation has developed in the experiences I have had outside of the classroom. I have been blessed with so many wonderful experiences, all of which have changed my life forever. As I look back, I was reminded of the many places I have traveled and the people I have encountered. Whether I am singing in the Notre Dame Cathedral, playing sports on a mountain with children in Ecuador or competing at a volleyball tournament in a neighboring university, I was constantly affected by each and every experience. A lot of information processing happens in the classroom but the development occurs when we take the information into action and apply it to our lives. Someone once told me, “Don’t let classes get in the way of your education” and I totally believe that. Classes are a tremendous asset to who we are and who we are striving to be. Through my college career I constantly told myself to stop at nothing and pushed myself to get involved in many different areas of campus. Some of the areas I got involved with were the Admissions and Orientation offices. I gave tours and spoke with many prospective students about their educational futures. My one piece of advice has always been, “Do not limit yourself to what you can do, but instead take advantage of the many opportunities that are afforded to you.” I believe, we should never stop learning, but consistently enhance who we are and what we know. Ultimately, you are in control of your own life. No one can make the decision for you but yourself, so take action and don’t waste any time wishing you had done things differently.