The application period for Front Range Community College (FRCC) Foundation scholarships is now open and closes March 1. Scholarships to attend FRCC are the key to an exceptional education when the funds just aren’t there to pay for college. I know. I am a scholarship recipient studying at the Boulder campus—a very grateful recipient.

Follow through.

I was surprised to learn that so many FRCC students start the scholarship application process but don’t follow through. I would like to share my experience and some advice about the process and FRCC resources that I hope will help more students successfully apply.

Like most students, I was petrified of the scholarship application process. But I did it. I learned that students need to take advantage of resources and make connections. Joining organizations and clubs in high school played a key role for me. Don’t be afraid to get to know people. The Foundation offers a scholarship program called Promising Futures aimed at high school students who can’t afford to attend FRCC. High school teachers are willing to write letters of recommendation to accompany your scholarship application. Get to know your teachers. Get them to know you. These relationships will be very positive for you.

Get help.

There are amazing resources available at the college for students currently attending FRCC. The Financial Aid Office has all the answers about finding resources to pay for college and any other financial questions. Another resource is FRCC’s writing center. Few of us are experts in punctuation and grammar, especially since we often use acronyms while texting. BTW, the center’s staff gave me constructive feedback and helped me improve my scholarship application essay. Grades are important. That is why I take advantage of FRCC’s free tutoring services. I have a tutor who meets with me once a week to help me with math. The college’s math lab is another important resource. Instructors and advanced students at the lab help with questions. It’s great to get answers explained in a clear way that makes sure I get it.

FRCC instructors offer office hours to help students with questions. Use them. Get to know your instructors and share your story and your hopes and dreams with them. Knowing you better will help them write a scholarship letter of recommendation that doesn’t just focus on your development in class. They care. They are invested in our success. One of my math instructors is a constant inspiration to earn my degree and realize my dreams.

Get started.

FRCC Foundation staff recently simplified and streamlined the scholarship process to make it easier. Go to the Foundation website——today and get started.

Both of my parents work fulltime jobs, but affording college was impossible for my family. I understood. But, that didn’t mean I would give up my dreams.

I first thought I wanted to be a pilot.  I would spend time parked near airports, smiling as airplanes took off and landed.  As I read more and more about being a pilot, I had second thoughts.  Pilots were often away from their families and might even have to spend a night sleeping at the airport.  That didn’t sound like fun.  I decided to change my major and go into the civil engineering field.

My story.

My dad’s passion was construction and he demonstrated his pride by taking me to visit projects he was working on. That sparked my interested. A friend, who works for the oil industry, explained the many options available to those with a civil engineering degree like him. I could help design and build highways, sewer systems, and industrial facilities. My plan is to attend FRCC for three years and graduate with two associate’s degrees, one in math and another in science.  I will then transfer to the University of Colorado Boulder and pursue a civil engineering degree with a minor in applied mathematics.  I understand the need to improve our state’s infrastructure. That is the reason I would like to work for Colorado’s Department of Transportation. What a great way to give back to my community and Colorado.

Yes, like many FRCC students, I’m determined to be the first in my family to graduate from college. Yes, we all have doubts. Don’t be intimidated by the application process. FRCC staff is always willing to help students apply for scholarships. If they don’t have the answers, they will direct you to the correct resource. And yes, I asked for help writing this blog. Love something. Go for it!

Lastly, big, big thanks to the wonderful people who donate to the Foundation and support scholarships for FRCC students. I couldn’t attend FRCC without your generosity and caring. Thank you for investing in my future and helping me with this first step in reaching my educational goals. I won’t let you down.

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