Mayra Quea
Trinity Christian College
ACI General Scholarship

Mayra Quea came to the United States as a child from Peru with her parents. Her background led to an interest in learning about diverse cultures and perspectives. That is one of the reasons why she chose to major in history at Trinity Christian College, with a pre-law minor. For Quea, learning about various cultures closely relates to her interest in law.

A first-generation college student, she lives with her parents in Northbrook, Illinois. Now a junior, Quea says a friend invited her to visit Trinity Christian College. God was calling her to Trinity Christian, Quea says, adding she could see herself at the campus café, taking classes and living in a dorm on campus. “It was a push or a nudge in the right direction,” she says.

One big draw is that the student-professor ratio is about 12:1, Quea says. “It’s really amazing that our professors take the time to get to know us, to learn our names instead of being in a classroom with 200-plus students and having lectures. There’s so many people from different backgrounds, so I think that’s pretty awesome,” she says.

Quea plans to attend law school after earning a bachelor’s degree and has an interest in immigration law. “After graduating law school and passing my bar exam, I think I’d like to work for the first 2-to-3 years in a company. Then after working in a company, getting experience, I will go back to school to get a business degree, because I want to open up my own firm,” Quea says.

Along the way, an ACI General Scholarship helped her remain in school. “My family went through a long period of financial hardship. There was major talk of me not going back to Trinity because I could not personally afford it, and my parents could not help me out anymore,” she says.

“So receiving this ACI scholarship was a true blessing, and I’m super grateful for it because without this, I would not be here,” Quea says. “I know there are at lot of kids out there like me that go through financial hardship, that are paying for college on their own, and their parents cannot pay for all college or they’re not getting enough scholarships.”

To Quea, the ACI scholarship is an “amazing” opportunity. “It’s a beautiful thing, given to those that really need it,” she adds.

At Trinity Christian, Quea serves as a Student Activities staff chair, planning social activities and events for students. She is also a Diversity Scholar, where she learns about diverse cultures and engages in community activities. Quea has also worked for three years as a receptionist at a nursing home in Northbrook.

Reese Hill
Monmouth College
McGraw Foundation Student Emergency Assistance Fund

Reese Hill began her college search with certain expectations. She sought a safe, small campus, a place where she can find resources or get to help to find them, and a place where she pursue her passions for theatre and education. Monmouth College was one of two schools that “checked all the boxes,” says Hill, who is from Kansas City, Missouri. Hill, who has an older sister, is now a sophomore majoring in theatre education with an art endorsement.

Monmouth College and the city that bears the same name, have been ideal, she says. “I love it here at Monmouth,” Hill says. “I really like it because it is one of those towns where everybody knows everybody. If I need help, or I need to find a resource to help me with my work or something like that, there are already so many connections that I already have to complete my goal.”

Since the sixth grade, Hill has been involved in theatre. “When I saw that Monmouth had a theatre education program, I said ‘well there’s two of my biggest things that I love put together,’ so I figured that being a theatre education major, I could, in turn, help future students discover their love and passion for theatre that I have.” Beyond college, Hill hopes to earn teaching certifications in Illinois and Missouri. Graduate school is also a possibility for Hill, and she may seek a career teaching theatre at the college level.

Hill pays tuition and expenses herself. To assist, Monmouth College chose her and awarded Hill a grant from the McGraw Foundation Student Emergency Assistance Fund, made available through ACI. “It was something I was over the moon about,” she says. “One of the best things about the scholarship that I received is that my monthly payment for school got taken down almost $150 per month, which has helped me a lot. I don’t have to work as many hours on campus now, and that can allow me to put more energy and more practice time into my studies and my extracurriculars.”

Donors, who make scholarships and emergency financial aid possible, are important to students, Hill says. “It can really have an impact on a student in their life, because a little bit of financial help can go a long way, especially to those of us who have to pay for our school and have additional financial needs. “I’m just really, really grateful that I got this scholarship.”

Away from the classroom, Hill is busy with clubs and mentoring. She is vice president for communications for Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honor society. She is a mentor to freshmen students, works as a Scot Ambassador, showing the campus to prospective students, and she works with students in speech classes, helping them practice and giving feedback. Hill is also a James and Sybil Stockdale Fellow, a leadership development and community-service program at Monmouth College.


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