Achieving Her Goal - Scholarship Recipient Story

My name is Aleksandrina Mladenova. I am an international student from Bulgaria.  As a recipient of the Mathematics and Science Endowment Scholarship, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your support. This scholarship will help me pay for my classes and books. Since I am an international student and I’m not eligible for a financial aid, this scholarship will be a great help to me and to my family in Bulgaria. It will give me the opportunity to continue on my path to achieve my dreams.

I came here to pursue my educational goals because the United States has one of the world’s finest university systems. I am currently pursuing an Associate in Applied Science at Harper College and planning on transferring to a university to earn my Bachelor of Science in nursing. My educational aspirations consist of acquiring my bachelor’s degree, which would give me the opportunity to work as a nurse, gain some clinical experience and save money for my Master of Science in nursing.

My experience coming here wasn’t easy. I was first enrolled in Harold Washington College in Chicago since their tuition for international students was less expensive than other community colleges. I arrived in the U.S. a month after I was accepted. I was living my dream till the moment I went to pay for my tuition and I was told that the state decided to double the international tuition rates. Even though I was accepted before the decision was made, I would have to pay the increased tuition if I wanted to study there. I had no choice. I was already here; it was late July, and I had no time to apply to another college. It was a huge shock. The money that was supposed to pay for one year, would now pay for one semester. Regardless of these obstacles, I am so thankful to my family that they believed in me and gave me courage to continue further.

When the fall semester in 2015 ended, I decided to find another school which would be closer, and this school was Harper College. I could not be happier for the choice I made to transfer here. I have met some incredible people who guided me and helped me throughout the last year. During the fall semester of 2016, I was invited to join the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Throughout my experience in the U.S. I have learned one thing – nothing is impossible if you believe that you can do it. No matter how hard it looks, there is always a light down the tunnel, there is always a way if you try hard enough to find it.  Receiving the Mathematics and Science Endowment Scholarship is not just receiving money for me; it tells me I am seen as having potential for the future of our society. It shows me that everything is possible, if you work hard enough to achieve it!