Alexis V., 17 – Funded

Alexis V. firmly believes that what we do in response to what goes on around us is truly what defines us. So, she has worked hard to maintain a positive mindset that fuels her passion to learn and grow every day. The Olathe East High School senior’s dream college is UC Berkeley, but she’s also interested in considering UC Davis, University of Kansas (her home state!), and Northwest Missouri State University. The Girl on the Rise is planning to major in either neuroscience or bioengineering to set her on the path for a career in the medical field.

What is something you are most proud of?

I am most proud of the way I’ve been able to live through what I’ve been through and be surrounded by who I’ve been surrounded by — and still have not let that negatively influence me. With so much hate everywhere in the world, I am also proud of keeping an open mind and having empathy. I didn’t really recognize this until a close friend told me this it is something she admired about me. It’s something I never quite realized about myself until someone put it into words.

Have you gone through any tough or challenging times? If yes, how did you deal with those challenges?

Being the oldest daughter in a Hispanic household, I’ve been assigned responsibilities that shouldn’t even be mine at this age. Because of this, I feel like I haven’t been able to really live and enjoy my youth. Sports and after-school activities are out of the question. I’m not sure one could ever escape from the responsibilities of a Hispanic household and I’m still finding ways to overcome it to this day. I’m putting in my hardest work I can right now, so that when it’s finally time, I can make up for all these lost years. I’m building a career for myself and making it possible so that in the future I won’t have to limit myself and do what I want to do. I won’t be the one staying home watching everyone’s highlight reels — instead, I’ll be out there creating the moments myself.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Girl on the Rise?

It is an opportunity for my future — and to become the person I know I’ve always wanted to be. It also means the chance to learn — to be a part of something that will help shape me for the rest of my life.

What inspired you to want to be involved with Girls on the Rise?

My future. I want to create something for myself, where I can persevere every day. And this is a perfect medium to help me achieve my dreams. It’s the promise of new opportunities and of new beginnings. I want to be a part of this because I’ll be surrounded by girls who are dreaming big — just like me. I won’t be afraid to talk about what I want because I know that they have been wanting the same things with equal passion. I know that we will create relationships with the coordinators, as well, who will help us pursue these dreams, too.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? In other words: Why is the opportunity to visit your prospective colleges important to your journey?

It will help me explore my options and not limit myself to the boundaries of my state’s lines. It will help me dream big. It is important that I visit my potential future home — and turn something that I’d only ever dreamed of into a reality. With all the uncertainties that involve college, I personally believe that being able to visit these colleges will help ease my worries and help me focus on what’s important. I could read and find out what people have said about schools, but not until I’m there in person and able to experience them firsthand will I know for sure and have my questions answered.

What schools will you use the funding to visit, and why?

I plan to use the generous grant to visit UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and Northwest Missouri State University. I want to be able to experience these colleges in person and not make any decisions based on what I’ve heard or what I’ve seen on the internet. I want to experience them for myself, because I’m the one who will be living at least four years of my life there. So, I need to be able to see myself there and to feel confident about my decision.