College Possible Minnesota is working with Wallin Education Partners to provide financial support and comprehensive advising to 134 College Possible students beginning college this fall. The scholarship of up to $4,000 for four years will bridge the financial gap that these students must fill to attend college.
“These scholarships add up to more than $2 million in financial aid for College Possible students,” said Sara Dziuk, executive director of College Possible Minnesota. “In addition to the financial aid awarded, both organizations make a significant investment in coaching and supporting the students through their college graduation,” she added. “This is amazing news and we are so excited for these students.”
India Chand is a scholarship recipient and will be attending Augsburg University this fall, where she will major in Urban Studies and minor in Architecture. India joined College Possible at Kennedy High School looking for a better future. “I knew that I wanted and needed to go to college,” said India, “I just didn’t know the steps to take. College Possible has shown me how to take those steps and where it all starts.”
Applying for the Wallin scholarship wasn’t easy, India remembers. From getting her FAFSA done in time, to collecting letters of recommendation and writing additional essays, it was an intense process. However, India says that all that hard work was worth it: “Not only am I getting a head start at paying for college, I’m getting a mentor and many other networking opportunities.”
India cites the support of her College Possible coaches as instrumental in facing academic and personal challenges. “Overall, College Possible has given me more than I could have ever imagined. My experience in the program has given me new friends along with new support system and resources,” she said.
For many students, winning the Wallin Partners Scholarship is about more than money. It is an extra layer of support and access to professional development, which will help them succeed in college and beyond. In addition to winning funds, each scholar is paired with a professional in the Twin Cities to facilitate networking opportunities. That mentor support, along with monetary assistance, caught Luis Romero’s interest and motivated him to apply.
Luis has dreamed of earning a college degree ever since he was young. Being a first generation student, he has worked diligently to seek out support and resources to guide him to his goals. Luis participates in AVID, Minds Matter and College Possible.
Joining College Possible has allowed him to expand his social networks and receive valuable resources to prepare him for success in college. “Without College Possible, I would not have gotten a good score on the ACT, and I probably wouldn’t have gotten as much help on my scholarships and college applications as I did, and I am really grateful for that,” said Luis.
Receiving this scholarship means the world to Luis, who values his family and education above all else. He has been extremely focused on applying to scholarships to alleviate financial pressures on his family to pay for his education since the beginning of the school year.
“Having support and knowing that I have money to help me pay for four years of my college is very helpful,” said Luis. “Being able to find ways to support myself and figure a way to pay for my education is great because I do not want to take out many loans and give my parents any grief.”
Luis will attend the University of St. Thomas next year to explore the STEM field, with the support of this scholarship.
Both India and Luis are looking forward to starting a new chapter in their lives, where they will study subjects that interest them and explore campus life. “I cannot wait to meet new people and experience all that college has to offer,” said Luis. “It will be a new challenge [that] I cannot wait to defeat.”
By Elisabeth Zarnoti, High School Coach at Kennedy High School in Bloomington, Minnesota