When Dalin Eap, a soon-to-be graduate of Wright College, learned about the Star Scholarship while attending Mather High School in Chicago’s West Ridge neighborhood, she thought, “I have to take this,” calling it an incredible opportunity.

Now it turns out that earning her first two years of college tuition-free was a preview for the next two. Dalin recently found out that she has been named a Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholar by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which means her entire undergraduate experience will be free of cost.

Dalin’s been hoping to win the award since she saw a sign at Wright last year about the 2020 semifinalists for the scholarship. After doing some research on it and talking to her advisors, she started organizing a plan to earn the prestigious award herself.

“It was a relief,” she said, recalling the moment a representative from Wright called to tell her she had received the scholarship. “My hard work paid off.”

After Dalin graduates with her associate degree this spring, she plans to transfer to a four-year university to study biochemistry. Her dream is to one day become a psychiatrist, a career path she discovered during her time at Wright.

At the college, Dalin said she was given the time and space to build herself as a student and receive the help she needed. She’s always been interested in science, but exploring different courses in the field while at Wright – from engineering to chemistry – helped her decide that a career in medicine was best suited to her interests.

Dalin said that choosing Wright also helped her build a healthy mindset – something she’d like to help others achieve one day as a psychiatrist. By attending classes with people of all ages and from all backgrounds, she realized that, regardless of what path a student has taken previously, “everyone is still learning.”

Before she began her studies at Wright, Dalin feared that the school might not be the right place for her. But after stepping on campus, she learned that “community college is a wonderful place for everyone.”

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