For some, being a student at
Southeast Community College is a dream come true.
Mariah Nava is finishing her first
year at SCC. She is a recipient of the Learn to Dream Scholarship. The
scholarship covers one year of tuition at SCC with no additional fees. Last year,
more than 400 scholarships were awarded.
“I was very relieved,” Nava
said upon hearing she received the scholarship last year. “It helped me figure
out things better and helped to get college started for me.”
Nava attended Lincoln North
Star High School and found out about the scholarship from her counselor. She’s
an Academic Transfer student at SCC and wants to eventually work in theater.
“My hope is to get to New
York,” Nava said. “I want bigger and better things, but if I stay in Nebraska,
that’s OK, too.”
Nava is one of many students
at SCC who received the LTD Scholarship last year. They can be found at all
three campuses in Beatrice, Lincoln and Milford. Sarah Aguirre is a success coach for Learn to
Dream. She says Nava pushes herself academically.
“Each quarter she takes on
new challenges and works hard to get through the tough assignments and exams,”
Aguirre said. “We are so proud of her dedication and progress.”
The Learn to Dream Scholarship
provides more than just financial assistance to the students, Aguirre said. The
student success coaches are able to help students with time management, study
skills, career advising, and assistance with financial aid and registration.
“It provides a good
opportunity for some students who wouldn’t otherwise go to college,” Aguirre
Rafael Mendoza is a Lincoln
High graduate who also accepted a Learn to Dream Scholarship to attend SCC. He
said during high school, he wasn’t sure he would’ve gone on to college if it
wasn’t for the scholarship opportunity. Now he’s in the Auto Collision Repair Technology program and has a bright future.
“I was pretty excited about
the scholarship,” Mendoza said. “I probably wouldn’t have gone to SCC at all; probably
just started working after high school.”
Mendoza said college is much more
challenging than he thought it would be. Instructors expect you to be
responsible and get your work done, he said. It’s not like high school where
teachers would nudge you a little more. He’s already trying to recruit other
students to take advantage of the scholarship.
“I told my friend who just
graduated from Southwest about SCC and the Learn to Dream Scholarship,” he
The 2016 Learn to Dream
Spring Celebration will be held May 31, 2016, at SCC’s Lincoln Campus from 5:30-7:30
p.m. The seventh annual event will recognize all of the Gold Achievement (4.0 grade-point
average) and Silver Achievement (3.5 GPA) Award recipients. Four outstanding
students also will be awarded for their academic achievements.
“The Learn to Dream people
are really helpful,” Nava said. “I am blessed to have this scholarship.”
The Learn to Dream
Scholarship, which was created in 2007, is a joint effort between Nelnet, Union
Bank & Trust and SCC. All Lincoln seniors who qualify for free and reduced
lunch are eligible. There is no GPA requirements to get accepted, but a minimum
cumulative 2.0 GPA must be earned at SCC to maintain it.