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Amy from Iowa

Age: 17

How will going to college help you achieve your dreams and goals?
Like many people, I aspire to make a positive impact on the world and the people around me. Having a career that I love will help me fulfill that goal; but, without a college education obtaining a job in the field I'm passionate about, engineering, will be nearly impossible. Therefore, college will help me achieve my dreams and goals by providing me the experience I need to pursue a career in engineering, a job where I can utilize my talents (math, problem-solving, creativity) and be who I am when I am at my best. Aside from allowing me to obtain a career I'm passionate about, college will also pave a path towards accomplishing my other dreams: studying abroad, working an internship, trying something new, and the list could go on. College will provide me much more than just a title behind my name; it will provide me with experiences (leadership, volunteer, career, communication, etc.) that will help shape me as I continue to grow as an individual. Lastly, going to college and obtaining a bachelor's degree will provide me the opportunity to expand my knowledge even further. Along with engineering, I have also developed a passion for the health field. I love the fact that I would have the ability to talk with people each day, hear their stories, and help them feel better. Thus, going to college will open the door for me to be able to attend medical or dental school. Overall, college is truly the ticket to helping me accomplish many of my goals from something as small as trying a new activity or as large as making a difference on the world and the lives around me.

Explain who/what in your life has inspired you to go to college.
My parents have continuously taught me the value in education, inspiring me to advance my knowledge by attending college. In my own life, I have witnessed the differences between attending college versus not attending. I have seen the difference in opportunities. I have seen the different pressures and worries that come with not having a college education. Thus, I think witnessing the differences first hand has shown me the advantages of a college education and the power in knowledge, motivating me to do well in my academics and obtain a college education. Additionally, my teachers have also inspired me to continue my education in college. I have been fortunate to have some of the most caring and passionate teachers at my high school. My teachers have taken the time to not only make learning fun and interesting, but also to help me grow as an individual; and frankly, I don't want that to stop, which is great because it doesn't have to. In college, I will continue to learn, expanding my knowledge, and I will also be able to grow as an individual through all the new challenges and opportunities I will face in college.

Explain your biggest obstacle to overcome in making college happen and what you're doing to help overcome it.
My biggest obstacle to overcome in making college happen would be money. College is not cheap. However, college offers valuable knowledge and experiences that will allow me to pursue a career that I am passionate about. In college, I do not want to set myself up to be in a bad financial situation right once I graduate. Therefore, it is going to take many different financial resources for me to be able to make college happen and give myself the best start in life after college. In order to help overcome the obstacle of money and prevent a bad financial situation, I am trying to minimize the amount of money I will need to take out in student loans as much as possible. I will minimize this amount of money by utilizing college savings, taking college classes for free in high school, applying for the FAFSA and scholarships, and working to earn extra money to put towards my college education.