Student stories

Meet just a few of our outstanding students who have benefitted from the generous gifts of visionaries like you.

Mason Metzkes

Mason Metzkes

Aerospace Engineering ’20

“Over the course of the last year, I was on the borderline of being able to afford college, but through the generosity of this scholarship, it put us just past what my family needed to be able to afford me attending Illinois.”

Ann Rajan

Ann Rajan

Computer Science ’20

“In my Honors Intro to Programming course, I lead a project called StudyBuddy. I am a backend developer of the website/mobile app that matches up students to study based on their location and courses. I plans to see this project to completion even after finishing my honors course.”

I am also a member of the Society of Women Engineers where I am the Team Tech External Relations Chair, as well as the co-founder of the Girls Who Code Club. Outside of my engineering-based activities, I am passionate about music and a member of the University Philharmonic Orchestra.

Samuel Zandi

Samuel Zandi

Engineering Physics ’18

“I am exceedingly grateful for your generosity and am extremely humbled. Your support takes away from the stresses of paying my full tuition and allows me to focus more on academics than outside work.

I enjoy tutoring other students with coursework in classes I have already completed. I also enjoy attending Illini Basketball and Football games and I am looking forward to seeing how well Lovie Smith will lead our football team.”

Michael Gale

Michael Gale

Industrial Engineering

“I am from Dixon, Illinois and I am very excited to become my family’s first engineer. I hope to become a manufacturing engineer for a well-known company, and eventually move up into management as a plant manager.”

Katherine Douglas

Katherine Douglas

Bioengineering ’20

“This substantial financial aid allows me to avoid student loans during my time as an undergraduate student. It also eases the financial burden on my parents while I am in school. As a freshman in bioengineering who is considering going pre-med, I have a lot of hard work ahead of me.”

Karolina Urban

Karolina Urban

Civil Engineering ’19

“As a first generation child in the United States and a first generation college student, I want everyone to have the opportunity to learn and make their families proud.”

Kara Wong

Kara Wong

Engineering Undeclared ’20

Kara and her mother support young women living in poverty-stricken regions around the world to receive an education. Initially, they only sponsored one girl from China, but with the additional financial support Kara received, they have been able to sponsor two other women.

Julia Brodecki

Julia Brodecki

Materials Science and Engineering ’20

“On campus, I am a committee chair on the recruitment committee of the Society of Women Engineers, as well as a member of Illini Solar Car where I work in a clean lab to make solar modules that will power the car.”

Ivan Gallardo

Ivan Gallardo

Computer Engineering ’18

“As the oldest of six, my parents cannot afford to assist me in paying for my education, but they have never stopped encouraging me to succeed. Paying for my education has been a challenge and the main reason for my attending a community college before transferring to Illinois.”

Omar Joya

Omar Joya

Electrical Engineering '17

I am involved in the Hoeft Technology and Management program, which brings the two disciples of engineering and business together. I enjoy the multidisciplinary approach to my education, as I am able to see the bigger picture of how industry works in the real world.

Siobhan Fox

Siobhan Fox

Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering '18

The Engineering Visionary Scholarship has impacted my family and I more than I could ever imagine. Currently, I am a sophomore studying Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering.

One of the registered student organizations I have joined is the Engineers Without Boarders chapter, where I serve as treasurer. We are working on a project in Malawi where we will be constructing a bridge that allows our partner community to access food, water, and education- resources this community typically goes without during the rainy season.

Upon graduation, I hope to facilitate communications between countries with well-developed nuclear programs and those just beginning to invest in nuclear research.

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