Allie O., 25 – FUNDED

Allie O. sees every “failure” as just an opportunity to grow — and her own path has not been without its hurdles. However, when this 1,000 Dreams Fund Scholarship winner put her focus on making a difference, she rediscovered her own dreams, too. Now, she’s pursuing her B.S. degree in Marine Science at the University of Maine.

What is your professional dream?

My professional dream is to become a marine researcher and scientific diver working towards the conservation of our oceans and globe.

How will you use the 1,000 Dreams Scholarship?

This scholarship will go towards the cost of my tuition for a domestic study-away semester at a non-profit marine science lab where I will gain hands-on field and lab experience.

How is this scholarship helping you get closer to your dream?

The experiences, skills, and connections through my semester away at the lab will help me to become a capable and knowledgeable marine scientist and set me up well for grad school.

What advice do you have for other young women who are wanting to pursue their dreams?

A big part of success is being willing to put yourself out there and make mistakes. No person who has ever achieved their dreams did it without bumps along the way and help from others! Be messy. Make mistakes. You have the strength to make it through the bumps. Also: Ask questions, collaborate, and lift up those around you! Success is not a solo activity!

​Have you had any setbacks? How did you move past them?

I dropped out of school when I was 19 after the death of a close loved one. At the time, I felt extremely lost and had no motivation. Finding the strength to pick myself back up and put all my love and focus into volunteering and making a difference helped me to find joy, passion, and direction in my own life again.

What’s next for you? What is your next goal?

My goal for this summer is to finish my scientific diving and rescue diver certifications. I also would like to eventually publish the research I am conducting on marine cladoceran, a very tiny but abundant crustacean in our world’s oceans. I’d like to go on to earn a master’s degree and likely a Ph.D. — and hopefully be a part of a research diving expedition in Antarctica!