Written by Danielle Snow. Danielle is a second-year sophomore studying Sociology and Gender and Women’s Studies. She is our chapter's Public Relations Chairperson and the Co-President and Co-Founder of the WMU RSO FemiNOW.
This past July, the National Alpha Lambda Delta Council announced the thirty-six Jo Anne J. Trow Sophomore Undergraduate Scholarship winners. Out of these thirty-six astounding sophomore students, three of them just so happened to be from Western Michigan University; Nicole Thompson, Madelyn Aittama, and Julia Sant. The award was created in 1988 to honor Jo Anne J. Trow, a former National President of Alpha Lambda Delta. The award is only offered to 36 Alpha Lambda Delta Members who have enough credits to be considered sophomores from any chapter across the U.S. Each chapter can submit 1-3 sophomore applicants, depending on the amount of inducted members that year. The scholarships range from five $6,000 awards, five $3,000 awards, five $2,000 awards, and twenty-one $1,000 awards.
Nicole Thompson, junior and nursing major, was a winner of one of the five $3,000 scholarships. She has been an Alpha Lambda Delta member since the spring of 2014. Nicole jumped on the Executive Board right away as a volunteer coordinator, which entailed creating and coordinating at least one or more volunteer events once a month. This year, Nicole is the Junior Advisor for Alpha Lambda Delta and is also developing a scholarship committee to help those who are looking into ALD scholarships. It’s important to know the resources available with ALD and this committee will allow members to be able to create the best application they can, said Nicole.
“I didn’t think it was 100% to definitely get it,” Nicole said. “But I think when opportunities come to you, it’s important to take advantage of them.” She said she was encouraged to apply for the scholarship by ALD President, Cole Villalobos and ALD advisor, Anthony Helms. Nicole admitted the process was not difficult. The application is straightforward, it’s not hard to get letters of recommendation and the essay is looked over by Anthony to make sure it flows well, said Nicole. On a final note, Nicole said, “A GPA and involvement are things you have or you don’t, but I think that everyone is valuable whether they win a scholarship or not.”
Madelyn Aittama, a junior and Biomedical Sciences Major, was the winner of a $1,000 scholarship. Like Nicole, Madelyn joined Alpha Lambda Delta in the spring of 2014 and hopped on the Executive Board the same year, also starting as a volunteer coordinator. Now one of the Vice Presidents, Madelyn described the differences between positions. “Vice President and Volunteer Coordinator are way different positions,” explained Madelyn. “Being a Vice President, you want to know what’s going on with everyone. You have to coordinate with more people. You also make the effort to go to all events, you feel more inclined to go to more events because you’re not just putting them on anymore.”
“Cole had approached me and said ‘Hey, you can do this!’” said Madelynn on why she applied. “I looked into it and just did it.” As Nicole mentioned, Madelynn agreed, “The application itself wasn’t too difficult. I had to write a short essay. It’s just about proving yourself. You just sit down and say what you’ve done.” Not only was the initial application, essays and letters of recommendation simple enough, the actual transfer of the scholarship winnings was quick and simple. “There weren’t any hoops to jump through,” said Madelynn.
Julia Sant, $1,000 Trow Scholarship winner, is a junior studying Interdisciplinary Health Studies with a focus on Occupational Therapy. Just as the other scholarship winners before her, Julia joined in the spring of 2014. “I got involved with ALD because I thought it would give me great opportunities to volunteer and help me connect with a community of first-year students with similar goals as mine,” wrote Julia. “And ALD did do both!” Julia wrote about her favorite events with ALD, saying they were humbling experiences.
“Once I heard about the opportunity, I just looked online for the scholarship requirements, found the application, and filled it out,” wrote Julia. “My friend and President of our chapter encouraged me to apply [and] with the wonderful help of the past president and advisor, my application was reviewed and edited before I handed it to the ALD officers to send in.” Julia wrote that she hadn’t thought she’d find many scholarship opportunities once attending college, so finding this scholarship was a great delight. “There are many of us in need of scholarships, so don't give up on looking for them and applying,” wrote Julia.
Congratulations to all three scholarship winners and good luck on your future endeavors.