Students’ Remarks from the Endowed Scholarship Lunch
As promised, here are the comments from Jeff Batres and Sarah Gromek — our two outstanding student speakers at the recent Endowed Scholarship Lunch. Enjoy!
Good afternoon fellow members of the Dominican University community.
It is an honor to be able to be up here and share with you all a little bit about my life and experiences here at Dominican University. I am a senior student majoring in psychology and minoring in corporate communications. I transferred here as sophomore back in 2009, and since then I have been proud to call Dominican my school. I have never before been a part of a community that made me feel so welcomed, supported, and cherished. I chose Dominican, because I valued the student-faculty collaboration and the small class sizes. More importantly, I thought it was vital to find a university that’s values closely aligned with mine. To pursue truth, to give compassionate service, and to participate in the creation of a more just and humane world: That is exactly what I feel a university should strive for. Dominican does not just educate students; Dominican helps them discover how to be an active global citizen aimed at making a difference in the world. This is far and beyond what most schools do.
Throughout my three years here at Dominican, I have always done all I could to get the most out of my education: to make it as intellectually rewarding as possible and to ensure that I was more prepared for graduate school. Since early in my high school career, I have aspired to be a psychologist. The psychology faculty, much like the entire faculty here at Dominican, is very interested and supportive in the academic and personal development of their students. I was able to be a research assistant for Dr. Tina Ritzler’s study on racial privilege and discrimination. Currently, I am conducting an independent research project with the guidance of Dr. Rebecca Pliske. Dominican is full of opportunities and resources that help you shine as a student, discover your passion, and help you in nurturing that passion, whatever it may be.
We are all here today to honor and give thanks to the generous Alumni who have financially supported deserving students in reaching their educational goals. The cost of an education is not by any means a cheap investment, but I view it as one that will definitely provide rewarding outcomes. I want to extend my personal gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Dittus for the Harriet and Joseph Kern Scholarship. A thank you as well to Mr. and Mrs. Meyer, who could not be with us today, for the Class of 1946 Scholarship. I have been working part-time as a nursing assistant with Advocate Health Care for over four years now in order to help make some financial contributions to my tuition. With two private loans, several federal loans, and a part-time job, I work hard to be able to attend Dominican. Generous donors like, Mr. and Mrs. Dittus, help lessen the financial toll a college education will have on a student. During these very difficult economic times, I am truly fortunate and blessed to have your financial support. Thank you very much.
Let’s us all forever keep in our hearts the warm and generous acts of others, and let us remember to pay-it-forward for what we have done for ourselves dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Thank you and take care.
Hello everyone it is an honor to be here today.
My name is Sarah Gromek and I am from a small rural town in Michigan called Yale. I live with my parents and my ninety year old Grandpa. Growing up, my family life revolved around raising the farm animal, the alpaca. When I turned six years old, I began learning to care for, train and show alpacas. Caring for alpacas has taught me to be responsible and dedicated. I have worked hard achieving high ideals and goals for myself. The one goal I set for myself and achieved was to maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA all during high school. I have the same goal now. I chose Dominican University because I was sent a booklet with the “I can” in Dominican highlighted. This caught my eye and as I read the motto of the university I fell in love. What Dominican stands for is what I believe in.
As I begin my sophomore year at Dominican University, I have made the decision to major in Corporate Communications with a double minor in Photography and Social Justice & Civic Engagement. After college graduation I wish to obtain a masters degree and would love to find employment with the organization People to People International. I have traveled with this organization and it has changed my life. Their motto of “creating peace through understanding” is how I see myself helping other students expand their horizons. I believe it is important in today’s world for individuals to learn and experience other cultures to create a more just and humane world.
During one of my travels with People to People I went to Costa Rica. I had many great memories from this trip but one in particular was painting school houses for children of the Meluku tribe. I find it personally rewarding to give of my time and talents. Last winter break I had the opportunity to travel to Cuernavaca, Mexico through Dominican University. I met a little girl named Vania and tried to speak to her in my poor Spanish. Even though communicating with her was difficult I soon realized that smiling is the universal language because it comes from the heart. At some point during my time at Dominican University I wish to study abroad in Ireland to have a deeper understanding of my family’s culture. I would also love to travel to Haiti through the university this spring break to help orphaned children. I plan to continue my education both in and outside of the classroom.
When I first realized I was awarded the scholarship I was at a loss for words. I was very touched. This award will help me set my college financial worries at ease. This scholarship will go directly towards helping pay for the rise in tuition. I thank you again Mrs. Morency for your generosity in awarding me this scholarship. It means so much to me that people care about my future and are willing to help me achieve my dreams.
I hope to, as Gandhi says, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”