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Student Spotlight: Paw

Paw, a senior at Benson High Magnet School, loves to be involved. She is an active member of the Future Female Leadership Club and THRIVE, two after-school programs that prepare students for future leadership roles in their community and profession. These programs serve as a way to connect with other students while they learn to communicate, work together to accomplish a common goal, and make good decisions in all areas of their lives. She is preparing herself to become a leader who will make a difference.

Paw’s personal commitment to make an impact in her community has been influenced by her childhood and the challenges she experienced while growing up in a refugee camp in Thailand. Paw remembers not having access to educational resources and how that changed when she and her family moved to the United States. Her parents have been her biggest supporters and have encouraged her to pursue all educational opportunities, which Paw aims to do.

I’ve been committed to going to college since elementary school because I want to do something big to help my parents after all they have done for me,” she said.

Paw’s inspiration to help her parents has shaped her career goal of becoming an ophthalmologist. Paw shared that while in Thailand, her dad was in the military and accidentally got gunpowder in his eye, which impaired his vision. Though her father sought multiple treatment options for his injury, nothing helped. Paw said she hopes to do research as an ophthalmologist to find a cure for her dad’s eyesight and help others in similar situations to ease the pain they endure.

To prepare for her future career, Paw is currently applying to universities that will support her career goals, such as the University of Colorado Denver, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and the University of California Berkeley. During college, she hopes to major in biology and minor in public health. She has also become a part of her school’s health academy, the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s high school alliance, and is currently taking certified nursing assistant (CNA) classes.

For Paw, being involved allows her to build her network and find the support she needs to succeed. When she heard about College Possible, she knew it was the program for her. Her sisters are both first-year college students in the program and encouraged her to join because they knew she had big dreams and any support to reach them would be helpful. Paw expressed gratitude for her AmeriCorps coach, Molli, saying that she has provided the support Paw needed while writing her personal essay and filling out applications for college admission and scholarships.

College Possible is a useful resource that students can count on. I know if I have any questions, my AmeriCorps coach will be there to help,” she said.

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