After years in the planning, yesterday I was finally able make a long time goal and Bucket List Item #10 a reality.
I created the Gardner Legacy Scholarship at my alma mater, Lake Forest College.
The Gardner Legacy Scholarship will be awarded in the 2013-14 academic year to a deserving first year student with demonstrated financial need. Priority shall be given to family members of Lake Forest alumni and students who achieved a 3.5 high school GPA on a 4-point scale.
I created this scholarship in honor of my cousin, Alan Gardner '90, who was instrumental in my decision to attend LFC. But for our overlapping year at LFC, I don't think we'd still be as close as we are 26 years after we first met in 1986. It was during that year that we truly went from being family to being friends.
Aside from this incredibly important family relationship, it was important to me to help a student get through college because LFC made it financially possible for me to attend, when I didn't have the money and the opportunities I've had as a result of my outstanding college education and the network I built during those four years is priceless.
Almost on a daily basis, I find something in my life that wouldn't have happened or wouldn't be possible without all that I learned at LFC. I can't tell you that what I learned in Multivariable Calculus is something I use daily (or at all), but I do use the analytical and reasoning skills I learned in it at least once a day. Being a psychology major constantly helps me better understand people and their motivations. Participating in the Urban Studies Program taught me how to navigate Chicago, which enabled me to strike out on my own in Washington DC and know I'd be okay.
Knowing that I'm helping a student have experiences that will shape them and their dreams is one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done.