Student ID Number31017
NameBelle Bower
What is your GPA3.95
What high school do you attend? (CHS or CSHS)CHS
Where have you applied for further education?

Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho
Simmons University, Boston, Massachusetts
Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York
Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois

What is your inteded major/speciality?Nursing
In 200 words or less please explain why you are choosing this major/specialty

I am choosing to major in nursing because I have always loved the idea of it. Nursing is one of few things that I have been able to imagine myself becoming. Helping people become better warms my heart, and I know that I could enjoyably have nursing as my life-long career. Growing up, I have been around children of all ages. I learned fast that I worked well with children, comforting and calming them down. On a recent study abroad trip where I worked with children, I had a feeling, a confirmation, that nursing was going to be my major. I never felt sure about my position on anything. I also learned that I love to travel. So, when the time comes, I plan on becoming a traveling nurse, so I can pursue two things I love in life.

1. What are your educational goals? Specifically list your planned major and minor courses of study. What do you plan to do with your education?

Major in nursing

In the upcoming fall, I plan on attending Simmons University, located in Boston, Massachusetts. At Simmons, I have set a few educational goals to make sure I am on track to success. One of those goals involves a visit to the school, to see if i feel like it is the fit for me. By the end of March I will know whether or not Simmons University is a good fit for me. I plan to try and maintain a 4.0 GPA throughout my four years. I know that requires a lot of dedication, but I know that I can achieve it if I set my mind to it. Along with maintaining good grades, I will be sure to make the time to get all my school work done. I will reach out to my professors when I struggle as well as find my support system while I am there.
Aside from the academic part of my educational goals, I want to be as involved as possible. I want to be able to get as much as I can out of this experience. Going to college out of state, especially so far away, is very different than staying closer to home. I want to learn about the community. Being a part of the Honors Program though, will help me achieve this goal. While I take the required classes needed to become a nurse, I will also be taking a lot of leadership classes. I plan to gain a new understanding of the community around me through my leadership classes. I am more than excited to achieve my educational goals.

What extracurricular activities or events have you participated in during high school?

One of the most important extracurricular activities I am involved with is TRIO Upward Bound. TRIO has helped me understand a lot about college that I didn’t know before. Another extracurricular activity I have been involved in is sports, specifically basketball and track. I have played basketball and ran in track throughout my four years of being at Caldwell High. I also take part in the Environmental Club, which is a newer club at Caldwell High. Lastly, I am also in the National Honors Society. In the NHS, each month we try and take part in a community activity.

3. What is the most impactful experience that you have had as a participant in TRIO Upward Bound?

When I came into the TRIO Upward Bound program, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t necessarily want to be in the program. I knew very little about it and was more nervous than I should have been. I remember the first day I came into the classroom. I sat at a table by myself, away from everyone else because I was very reserved and shy. I didn’t want to put myself out there or open up to people. After a while though, I learned that those people were the kindest people I had ever met. Though this didn’t help me overcome how shy I was, it definitely felt like a huge step. Little by little I was finding out who I was. Then one day I received a call from Josh, My TRIO specialist, and he told me that a new opportunity had come up that he thought I should take part in. Due to a donation, Upward Bound was able to take a few students to California to visit colleges there. I was honored and eager to go on this educational trip to California. I haven’t traveled far like this before. I would be flying, something that I have never done before, and it was very nerve racking just thinking of it.
This California trip helped me realize that I am capable of so much more than I thought I was. I flew, went to California, Disneyland, the beach, and ate at the famous In and Out restaurant all for the first time in my life. I was able to experience something I never had before, and now, I was to experience more things that are out of my comfort zone. I have started looking at colleges out of state, something that I never thought

Other than financial, what is the biggest obstacle you face to completing college? What resources will you utilize to help you overcome this obstacle?

The biggest obstacle I think I will face prior to completing college is leaving my family behind. Growing up, my family has meant everything to me, and after all that we have been through, it is hard to imagine life without them. We have celebrated many birthday parties, holidays, and successes. I don’t want to miss out on any of that. I have depended on my family my entire life. They are my go-tos; my pick-me-ups. I find that I become very nervous and scared when thinking about going far away from home. If I decide to go to my first choice, I would be the first to go far away from my family. I would be on the east coast while they are here on the west coast. Even though it would be extremely hard, I think that it would have a good effect on myself as well as my family. My whole life I could tell my family has had this concrete definition of what they thought they were. Post-secondary education isn’t an option for my family and money was a big part of that. They had never realized the opportunities they had or believed in themselves. But I know that doing this, going to my first choice college, would show my family that we are more than what our past has defined us as. It would give my family a better outlook on life.
I know my family is a phone call away though. So if need-be, I can always give them a call to see what's happening. I could even facetime on birthdays. I can even come home during the holidays. I also know that there are support systems at Simmons University that I can go to when days seem to be very hard.

5. What will it mean to you to be the recipient of The Opportunity Fund?

A few weeks ago, the Caldwell High School girls basketball team of the 2019-2020 season, to which I was a part of, was the first team to ever win a district championship. During that final game against one or our biggest rivals was terrifying. We all knew that this wasn’t going to be an easy game but we also knew that we were already going to state. So we all agreed that this game was going to be a fun, relaxed game. It was the last minutes of the game and we were shooting free throws and all at the same time, we realized that we were up and that there was no way they could catch up. At first, it didn’t even feel real, but soon enough, the glory kicked in. I was part of the team that won the first ever district championship.
But I know that being the first recipient of the Opportunity Fund wouldn’t even compare to that type of feeling; it would be more than that. It is a good feeling receiving scholarship out of a pool of individuals because in some way, yours stood out more than the others. With a new scholarship, an applicant doesn’t really know what to expect. Plus, this scholarship is only open to people part of Upward Bound at Caldwell High. Being the recipient of any scholarship is a huge reward, but being one from a scholarship specific to myself and peers is nerve racking, because I know that all of the applicants are just as deserving as me. It would be so honorable because this is the start of something new. It's like my name would be what carries this scholarship on forward, what expands and grows the scholarship, and I feel like that would be pretty cool.

6. To what organizations or events have you offered service during high school? What was the most rewarding volunteer experience that you have had, and why?

One of the most rewarding volunteer experiences that I have had is being a junior coach and running buddy at Washington Elementary for Girls on the Run. When I first joined, ym idea of what the season was going to be like was completely wrong. I assumed that the girls would be very shy and not willing to speak up, because when I was younger, that is how I felt it was. The goal of Girls on the Run is to empower young girls, teach them how to stay positive, and become comfortable in their own skin as well as getting in a little exercise.
Everyday, practice started with a lesson. I was blown away with what each of the girls had to contribute to the group discussions. They were honest yet supportive in ways that I never thought elementary students could be. There were even times where they would mention something to the group that I didn’t think of. After the lesson, the exercise activity started. The amount of motivation and happiness within each of the girls' eyes is something I will never forget. They always had a positive outlook on what they accomplished in the day, and always set goals for the next day.
Being able to be a part of the growth of these girls was something I truly honored. There were days where I took the lesson to heart and was inspired. I was even pushed throughout the workouts each day because the girls motivated me to keep going. I loved how supporting the girls were of each other, even though they did not know each other for a very long time, it was as if the girls had been friends with each other for their whole lives.

7. How do you plan to fund your post-secondary education? If you have worked during high school describe what you have done.

In the fall, I plan on attending Simmons University. The cost of attendance for Simmons University is $68,690. They have offered me a financial aid package of $58,195, leaving $10,495 left to pay. Although the financial aid package was really good, $10,495 is still a huge amount of money to pay off. It is not impossible to achieve though.
Getting help to pay for college from my family is not really an option for me due to the financial situation they sit in. Therefore, I am depending on scholarships to help get me where I need to be. I have applied to as many scholarships I possibly can, a majority of them being Caldwell Foundation for Educational Opportunity scholarships.
Along with scholarships, I plan on getting a summer job where I can save my earnings to put towards the cost of attendance. I will also be doing work study at Simmons University. I know I still have a long way to go, but I know that staying dedicated and motivated to write essays for scholarships will help the process.