After facing a host of unrelenting challenges in her personal life LANL Foundation Scholarship recipient Star Goudriaan overcame them and saw a path forward.
During her senior year in high school, while balancing a heavy academic course load, participating in varsity swimming and volunteering in community organizations, Goudriaan found herself facing incredible personal challenges. As she frantically filled out college applications and questioned whether she was smart enough to stand out in a competitive environment, she also feared whether she’d actually be able to secure the funding to be able to attend any of the colleges she would get accepted to.
“When I learned that my application for the scholarship was accepted and I was going to be a recipient, it empowered me to keep going for my dreams.”
With the support of a college access program for promising first-generation college students, Goudriaan applied and was accepted to one of the most competitive liberal arts colleges in the United States, Colorado College. While Colorado College offered her a generous financial aid package, the struggles didn’t stop there -- soon after learning of her dream school acceptance, her ailing father passed away. The thought of leaving her mother and sister behind was extremely difficult but she knew it was something that she needed to do in order to pursue her passion and to grow herself personally and professionally.
“Having the opportunity to go away to college has provided me more than just the opportunity to get a higher education. It has also helped me to think about personal responsibility, the kind of person I want to be in the world, to my friends, my family and to myself. Leaving behind my home of my childhood was hard, but now I have a larger community and network that have instilled feelings of hope and determination.”
What’s next for Goudriaan?
With the help of her peers, professors, mentors and deeper inner searching, Goudriaan shared that she will be pursuing a PhD in History and knows that her calling is to teach higher level education.
“I love research and writing! Pursuing a PhD will allow me to research, write and publish papers on topics that I feel incredibly passionate about.”
Goudriaan’s love for History, especially local, southwest and indigenous history became apparent at a young age. Her father encouraged as well as helped her with social studies and writing when she was a child. She remembered that the only textbooks she would read all the way through were history textbooks.
Goudriaan acknowledges that her pursuit for a higher education track in History will have challenges, but she feels ready.
“It will be hard, but I have the encouragement from everyone around me that my application will stand out to the schools I apply to. I’m nervous but also feel confident.”
LANL Foundation’s 4-year scholarship application cycle is currently open. Learn more, CLICK HERE.