Making the Most of Higher Education
A scholarship from UW Credit Union helped one student follow his dreams.
I recently learned that I received the UW Credit Union Endowed Scholarship at UW-Oshkosh, where I am a first-year student. Because of UW Credit Union’s generosity, I'm incredibly optimistic about my education, career and cultural opportunities for the first time in a long time. I'm in a much better place than I was a year ago. That in itself is a gift.
UW Credit Union really invests in students, and I am very grateful for that. I come from a low-income household and struggle with mental illness. Paying for school can be very difficult for me. This scholarship has helped me stay in school and still afford my medical care. It has helped me pay for my housing. It has helped me engage more readily with my art, my activism and my studies. Most importantly, it has given me hope.
Although my time at UW-Oshkosh has been short, it has truly changed my life. This university has connected me with some of my closest friends, my most respected peers and mentors, and, for the first time in my life, counseling and other support for my mental health. I don't think it's a stretch to say that coming here saved my life. That's why I value this scholarship so much.
I have always been fond of reading and writing, with my stack of library books towering above my head as I carry it. This has remained the case as I've evolved from a tiny child into a slightly less tiny adult. I think my path was always meant to lead back to books, and I plan to become a high school English teacher in the Wisconsin public school system after I graduate.
Creative writing, British literature and film as literature are areas that I would particularly love to teach, but literature, linguistics and poetry in all their forms inspire me. I am carefully considering graduate school as well.
My motivation to pursue teaching instead of becoming, say, an author or editor, is mainly that I value activism and connecting with people. As an LGBT working-class student who struggles with mental health issues, I am deeply aware of the impact that caring teachers and professors can have on marginalized youth. I wanted to be able to use my skills and passion for literature and language to benefit the next generation of teens not only intellectually but emotionally and sociopolitically.
In addition to being a scholarship recipient, I am a UW Credit Union member. I became a member last year after discussing it with my brother, who is also a member. I was attracted by the simplicity and user-friendliness of UW Credit Union's app and online presence, the potential to receive fair and manageable loans as a college student, and the fact that there is a UW Credit Union location on the UW-Oshkosh campus.
In other words, UW Credit Union is helping me live my day-to-day life while working toward my dreams.