Kourtney Burianek, an Academic Transfer student from York,
received Southeast Community College's Learn to Dream Achiever
Award for the Winter Quarter.
Burianek, originally from Dwight, enrolled at SCC in fall 2011.
She is scheduled to graduate next year.
The award is presented to an SCC student on the Learn to Dream
Scholarship who has completed at least two successful quarters of
classes at the College and who has demonstrated personal
improvement and achievement.
"The Learn to Dream Scholarship was a blessing in disguise,"
said Burianek, the daughter of Jill Kocian and Brian Burianek.
"Reality really set in that I would be able to go to college, and
it also was a relief to know that I could be successful in my
academic studies. Plus, I was relieved not to have to pay for
tuition, because I didn't know if I was going to be able to afford
Burianek said she's pleased with her decision to attend SCC.
"I've met great people like (Learn to Dream retention
specialist) Emira (Ibrahimpasic) and other fellow students who are
now my friends," Burianek said. "I have learned things in classes
that will actually stick with me. Also, I learned how to do things
on my own like filling out the FASFA, and I never would have known
how to do those things without help from the Learn to Dream
Burianek said the scholarship has opened doors for her.
"Without this scholarship it's hard to tell where I would be,"
she said. "I know I would be in college, but I would be less
prepared and basically lost."
She said SCC instructors have made an impression on her.
"The majority of the teachers are marvelous, and they have
impacted my life like no other," she said. "They have been real
Burianek plans to transfer to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
following graduation from SCC.
"I want to go into a science program," she said. "After UNL I
want to go to the University of Nebraska Medical Center. I want to
become an anesthesiologist because I love science, and learning how
to make people better interests me."
Burianek is grateful to the Learn to Dream staff at SCC.
"They are always caring, and they've been there with an open
door," she said. "I have learned that it's OK to ask for help,
because that is what some people at SCC are here for. In college
they aren't going to force you to come to class or do your homework
like it's high school. You have the ball in your court, and it's
your decision to play or sit the bench."
Burianek has a philosophy for living life.
"I believe it is important to live life knowing you have made a
difference and to thank the people who have made a difference in
your life," she said.
Initially the Learn to Dream Scholarship was a collaboration
between Lincoln's private and public high schools, SCC, and
generous funding from Nelnet and Union Bank & Trust. The
scholarship opportunity was expanded to high schools throughout
SCC's 15-county area, and participating schools secure funding for
the scholarship from benefactors within their district.