What I Wish I’d Known Before College- Part 1

You always seem to see and hear about the great things surrounding college: yes, you meet new people, you get to experience new opportunities, and you are finally an adult! It’s all so amazing and exciting, and even if college classes are difficult how bad could it get, right? Adjusting to college life and to new responsibilities, however, is something people don’t really talk about because of shame or discomfort. Change is really hard, and nobody talks in detail about all the personal obstacles and about those moments where you really doubt if you even belong in college.

Talking about their own experiences in college and what they wish they would have known are Ana Espaderos and Maria Mendoza, current undergrad students at Texas A&M and Harvard University, respectively. Their stories are not only inspiring but also refreshing reminders that success never comes easy.

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Side Hustle: 21 Scholarships for March/April


Make sure you’re still applying; remember there are so many organizations who want to give you money to go to college, but you have to apply apply apply!

Hispanic Scholarship Fund– March 30

Awards range from $500-$5,000. High school seniors, undergrad, and graduate students eligible. DACA and eligible non-citizens eligible.

The SleekLens Academic Scholarship- March 30

Requires an essay on given instructions. Three winners, award of $2,000. High school seniors, undergrad, and graduate students eligible.

Facing Acne Scholarship– March 31

Requires recording a short video about how the internet has helped you. One award of $2,000. High school seniors and college students eligible.

General and Mental Health Education Scholarship– March 31

For students looking to work in the mental health sector. Requires essay. One award of $1,000.

Internet Marketing Review Scholarship- March 31

Requires essay. One award for $2,000. High school and college students eligible.

College Success Scholarship– April 1st

Requires photo submission. One award for $1,000. High school seniors, undergrad, and graduate students eligible.

Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund– April 1st

For students involved in social and economic justice. Available grants up to $10,000 per year. Requires application, personal statement, two (2) letters of recommendation, FAFSA Student Aid Report, financial need information, and transcripts. Undergrad and graduate students eligible.

InvestmentZen Financial Future Scholarship– April 1

Requires essay. One $1,000 award. Must be enrolled in post-secondary institution.

Vivint Smart Home Scholarship– April 1

Requires recording a short video. One award of $5,000. High school seniors and college students eligible.

AFSA High School Scholarships– April 7

Open to high school seniors. Ten (10) awards available for $2,000.

Diabetes Scholars Foundation Scholarships- April 15

For high school seniors/incoming college freshmen who have type 1 diabetes. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Picture Keeper Scholarship– April 15

Requires essay, photograph, and transcript. Three awards: $1,500, $1,o00, and a Picture Keeper Connect. High school, undergrad, and graduate students eligible.

Women in STEM Scholarship– April 15

Requires essay and photo. One $3,000 award. High school seniors, undergrad, and graduate students studying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics eligible.

All About Education Scholarship– April 30

Requires short essay. One award for $3,000. Must be 13 years or older to be eligible.

HENAAC Scholarship- April 30

For students of Hispanic origin pursuing science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Offers three types of scholarships: Corporate/Government Sponsored, Special Recognition, and In Memoriam and Personal Tribute. Requires essay, application, resume, two letters of recommendation, transcript, and photo. Awards range from $500 to $10,000. Undergrad and Graduate students eligible.

The Runnerclick Sports and Academic Scholarship- April 30

Requires essay. Three (3) awards for $2,000 each. High school seniors, undergrad, and graduate students eligible.

Truth Initiative Scholarships– April 30

For students innovatively confronting tobacco use. Two (2) awards for $5,000. Requires proof of financial need.

Do Something Scholarships:

Superpower Scholarship– April 31

Requires shorts essay. One award for $2,500. Must be 13 years or older to be eligible.

For Every Accomplishment There are Five Failures: Reflecting on These Past Two Weeks

It is spring break but it is still snowing here outside of La Guardia Airport after New York’s snow storm of the year. How I was able to reschedule my flight after having had it cancelled is beyond me, but I am more than ready to finally go home to Houston to see my family and unwind after some of my most hectic few weeks. You haven’t heard from me in a while because a lot of stuff has been going on in my life right now. I’ve been blessed with many new opportunities but have also faced even more failures, however if you know me you know I don’t accept defeat. Though I am still recovering from midterms I am eager to share with you all where I’m currently at and where I expect I will be headed.

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Wavy Girls Spotlight: Diana Lee Guzmán

One of my strongest beliefs that drives me towards achieving every goal I set and every action I take towards success is that as a woman I am capable of performing at the same level and capacity as my male counterparts, if not even better. I’ve never associated my gender with my potential and my greatest desire is that this mindset will one day be the default, and that as women of color we won’t have to face the higher degree of discrimination that comes with both identities. Although women constitute for half of the total diploma-holding workforce the sad reality is that they only make up 29% of the engineering and science workforce; to make it worse, less than 10% of these women come from racial minority backgrounds (source). Our Wavy Girl Diana Lee Guzmán however does not feel defeated by these statistics for she has been a leader on campus for other Xicanas who are breaking the glass ceiling in STEM fields.

Diana grew up in a predominantly Latinx and low-income region in Phoenix, AZ and is now a junior studying Computer Science at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering. While she was very involved on campus during her four years at Carl Hayden Community High school- partaking in extracurriculars such as StuGo, Class Club, Volleyball, Basketball, Cheer, and Softball- it was the Robotics Team that really impacted her high school experience and made her aware of her love and strength in math and technology, eventually influencing her career choice. After much convincing by her mentor Ledge Diana became exceedingly involved in the Robotics team as a senior. Feeling inspired and nurtured by her mentor’s encouragement she felt as if she should pursue Mechanical or Civil Engineering, but as soon as she began college she saw an opportunity to explore and experiment with programming and ultimately decided on Computer Science.

She was just recently in Shanghai taking an NYU course sponsored by Google Ventures and ACCESS Health China, will participate in a The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Hackathon, and is constantly raising awareness through social media on issues affecting her community. Diana’s adventurous and daring personality and curiosity set her apart from the rest, and her dedication to represent her heritage while flourishing academically and professionally is admirable; she is unstoppable. I feel honored to have Diana as a peer here at NYU and to have interviewed her, and I only hope you all feel as inspired and reinvigorated reading her answers as I did.

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Study Abroad Scholarships and Opportunities

I’ve come to believe that studying abroad is an absolute necessity in college and will completely transform your perspective in how you view your education as well as your community, however I can’t omit the fact that it is a luxury. While it’s not easy to afford taking classes or pursuing an internship abroad that should not stop you when there’s hundreds of organizations and websites who want to fund students like us to gain an international edge. These opportunities are not ones you should put the side! Programs are for undergraduate and graduate students as well as recent graduates.

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24 Hours in LA

As I was waiting in the airport last week I was thinking of all the institutions and benefactors that have contributed towards my education and dreams; I began thinking about how these organizations have elevated me and how grateful I am to have reached this point. When I assess my growth as a student and young woman, however, there is one organization that has undeniably played a role in the development of my academic abilities and my plan of action for success. With only six weeks left to apply to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund I have had a lot of time to reflect on the impact this organization has had on my life, not only academically but also deep beyond the surface.

Last Monday HSF flew me in to Los Angeles to film an interview in which I basically just talked about myself and my background and accomplishments, and I was reminded just how terrible I am in front of a camera! But in all seriousness I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with emotion at some of the questions for I was prompted to look at all the hard work and effort I had to put in to be sitting in front of that videographer. Still, I failed to believe that out of the hundreds of scholars I was one of the very few they chose to interview. I’ve met so many people with accomplishments that left me speechless and amazed, so what made mine so special? Why were they so proud of me that they decided to go through all of the expenses of flying me in for literally one day for this very moment? The Hispanic Scholarship Fund has changed my life for the better, and this is no exaggeration.

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Wavy Girl Spotlight: Teju Adeniji

There are women who wait for the right time to create change, and then there are women like Teju who take it upon themselves to make time.

I have known Teju since elementary school when we used to ride the bus together; she is the first friend I made moving into this new school and we instantly clicked as we were both girls with big dreams and big hearts. She is one of the few people I have stayed in touch with for this long because her ambition and drive continue to inspire me to this day. Her benevolence, tenacity, and charisma not only make her a remarkable student in the classroom but also a dynamic figure in her community. Teju knows exactly what she’s worth and for as long as I’ve known her she has never sold herself short; she is the kind of leader I aspire to be.

Teju is a second generation Nigerian American woman and a current second year student at the University of Texas pursuing a Psychology B.S. in the Pre-Med track. She interns at the Office of Student Success and is involved in various organizations on campus including Women of Excellence, African Student Organization, Black Health Professions Organization, and MOVE (Medical Opportunity for Volunteering Experience). She also mentors seven lucky freshmen through Foundations Scholars Program and is deeply involved in the Celestial Church of Christ. Teju believes in the importance of surrounding yourself with family and friends, and when she finds some free time she enjoys finding new spots to eat, watching Netflix, and tuning in to ABC’s Shonda Rhimes Lineup TGIT (Thank God It’s Thursday).

I spoke with Teju to hear more about her own experience with college, being a woman color, and balancing life while still getting ahead.

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