Stephanie FigueroaStephanie Figueroa

Hometown: Round Lake Park, Ill.
Major/emphasis and minor: Graphic arts major, business administration minor.
Internships served: None yet.
Campus involvement (athletics, fine arts, clubs, etc.): Women's soccer team.
Dream job: One that requires me to travel all over the world doing what I love, which is either graphic design, photography or both.

Why did you decide to attend Lakeland University? As a Latina, it was really important to me to pick a school where I am not that far away from home. I am close enough to be able to see my family on the weekends, but far enough where I learn how to be independent and focus on school and work. I also loved the idea of being in small classrooms so that I can talk to my professors and ask them questions without a problem.

What is one thing you want everyone to know about Lakeland University? There are SO many opportunities for students to succeed. There are several scholarships, a lot of internship opportunities as well as events where people can make connections. Lakeland really does a great job of providing those opportunities and encourage us to take advantage.

How do you want to impact someone else's life as a young professional? Since I'll be the first person in my family to graduate college, I want to make a huge impact in my sister's life as well as my family and friends that are going to college. I want to be able to show them what I did in college and tell them all about my experiences, good and bad, so that they won't feel alone. I really take pride in being the first one to graduate because my parents came to the United States so that my sister and I could have a better life. Walking across that stage and accepting my diploma will be inspiring for my whole family, as well as family members or friends that also want to pursue a career in graphic design.

How will the Gala scholarship impact your future?

This scholarship will have a huge impact for my senior year of college. My parents are divorced, so I live with my mom and she has been unemployed for two years now. Because of my recent car accident, I am without a car, so it's been harder to get around campus, especially going home. This scholarship is going to help me because I was planning on having two jobs this summer to pay for my tuition next year, but now I can focus on saving up for a car and use that scholarship to pay my tuition. I have truly been blessed and I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity.