At the start of my senior year, I was unable to register for classes because of a financial shortfall. The Kast Family Scholarship allowed me to come back to finish my degree at Catholic University. I am eternally grateful to the Kast family for this gift of education.
From the moment I first set foot on the Catholic University campus, I knew I wanted to be here. It just felt right. My parents are CUA sweethearts who met on campus during their senior year. I am the oldest of four children, all of whom are enrolled in Catholic schools. Because the financial strain has been alleviated for my family, the scholarship helped me and my three siblings continue to attend and receive our educations.
I’ve made the most of my four years. I am in the Honors Program and have been on the Dean’s List each semester. I have always pushed myself, and Catholic University offers so many opportunities for students to be in leadership positions, even as freshmen. I am the president of the CUA Gaels, the Irish club. I have been involved with Cardinal Leaders, both as a member and as a workshop leader. I was so fortunate to be able to study abroad at University College Dublin, and that travel and experience was so meaningful. In DC, I spent two years working on the Hill for Congressman Peter King; during that time, I met both President Obama and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.
I am a student tutor at Catholic University, where I help students with psychology, theology, and economics. Through the Jumpstart program, I worked with the children in preschool classrooms in impoverished DC neighborhoods. Even with my scholarship, I am currently balancing several jobs, including interning with Teach for America and working in the University Archives. Taking on yet another job in order to finish my senior year would have been overwhelming. It certainly would not have allowed me the time to spend volunteering.
Community service is something I have always done as part of my daily life. I want to give future Catholic University students with potential and determination who work hard and show their potential help in the future, making connections with the alumni network and facilitating their personal and professional growth. I have already helped a freshman make a connection with the Congressman I interned for, and I would like to help more Catholic University students make those kinds of connections and have those kinds of opportunities.
Catholic University is a school in the city but it has a beautiful campus. The city is part of student life, but people also tie up hammocks and hang out and play Frisbee and throw a football around. The balance is hugely beneficial and the opportunities here are outstanding. I am so grateful that I was able to come back for my senior year, finish my degree and graduate. I just accepted a position as a category specialist for Jet.com. I feel so fortunate. I don’t know what I would have done without the scholarship.