Bold steps toward big dreams.
As a first-generation college student, Daniela knows what it means to take a leap into the unknown in pursuit of her dreams. Moving away from her family in Walla Walla to Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Tacoma wasn’t easy, but she quickly found mentors and friends who encouraged her. Daniela says, “Right away, I met professors who solidified my decision to major in social work. They were so kind and patient with their students – I thought, this is exactly the kind of person I want to be.”
Daniela aspires to become a licensed clinical social worker, working with children, their families and elementary school teachers. At the same time, she hopes to have a broader impact through public advocacy. “I love working one-on-one and being completely focused on that person, but I also want to reach as many people as possible,” she says. “My two minors in psychology and Hispanic studies tie in really well: they help me understand children’s developmental needs and cultural backgrounds, as well as strengthening my Spanish skills.”
WWIN Star Scholarship Opens Doors
Receiving the WWIN Star Scholarship relieved Daniela’s financial stress, enabling her to focus entirely on her studies – and it opened the door for her to meet other Star Scholars and be part of an encouraging community. She says, “It feels so nice to be connected to these other women. It’s inspiring to hear them talk about what they’re achieving and how they’ve faced some of the same challenges I have. It helps to know we’re all in the same boat and we’re all being positively impacted by this scholarship.”
Daniela is proud to have made the decision to take a chance on PLU and the WWIN Star Scholarship. “It was such a defining moment for me,” she says. “I had to put myself first and value my education enough to get over my fears. From where I am now, I can see that I did the right thing. Now I’m looking ahead to the next opportunity to test myself and continue growing as a person and as a social worker.”
Daniela offers a word of encouragement to other women who are taking their own bold steps toward a college degree and considering applying for a Star Scholarship. “Go for it! You have nothing to lose, and you can gain so much. You could be exactly who they’re looking for.”