When Dallas Brodersen graduated from Jones College Prep in 2018, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study, but she did know that she was heading to Wright College. Not only was her brother already studying there, but she qualified for the Star Scholarship, which paid for her tuition and books while she earned her associate degree.

“Wright was such a good choice for me – I was able to try different things and reflect on what I really want to do with the rest of my life. I think I grew a lot,” she said.

Some of the things she was able to be a part of were the American Chemical Society and the Gateway Advising Center as a student ambassador. She also took advantage of on-campus resources like the Writing Center and Tutoring Center. Stepping outside of her comfort zone, she even applied for and was accepted to the Undergraduate Summer Research Program in Biophysics at Princeton University in the summer of 2019.

Maria Llopiz, Associate Dean of Student Services, told her about the opportunity and encouraged her to apply, but she almost didn’t. Thinking she probably wouldn’t get it anyway, she decided to apply close to the last minute – and spent her summer worked in a chemical engineering lab developing a new sterilization indicator for medical equipment.

“I’m so glad she (Maria Llopiz) pushed me to do it – it was such a learning experience. In addition to getting experience working in a lab, I learned that people don’t expect you to know everything. I always put pressure on myself, but that’s not what the learning process is,” she explained.

Now Dallas is deciding where she wants to transfer to earn her bachelor’s degree, possibly with the help of a large scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Another opportunity she almost didn’t apply for, Dallas has been named a semi-finalist to receive this transfer scholarship – just one of 15 students across the state. She will graduate in the spring of 2020.

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