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Emily, 23 – FUNDED

Kansas native Emily Reno has a passion for food systems planning and supporting young and beginning farmers. She will pursue her dreams this fall at the University of Minnesota’s Masters in Urban and Regional Planning program. As a 1,000 Dreams Fund Spring 2018 Scholarship recipient, she plans to pursue a career in farming and food systems policy making. Ultimately, she wants to help young farmers and change how we view agriculture.

What is your professional dream?

My professional dream is to be a full-time farmer and part-time food systems policymaker.

How will you use the 1,000 Dreams Scholarship?

I will use the 1,000 Dreams Scholarship to help pay for my last semester at the University of Kansas.

How is this helping you get closer to your dreams?

This scholarship has helped me avoid taking out more loans for college. Since I’ll be a graduate student in Urban Planning this fall, I’m relieved that I can put all the money I earn going forward toward those expenses.

 

What advice do you have for other young women looking to go for their dreams?

Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. One of the only reasons I made it this far in college was because I set high expectations about how much I could pay for school through scholarships. Treat it as a part-time job and it will pay for itself. Always have a handful of people who can help you revise your essays. If you stick with it, then you’ll not only become a better writer but better at marketing the skills you have to future employers.

Any setbacks? How did you get around them?

This year, I moved three times in the span of six months, which was an added source of mental exhaustion on top of graduate school applications. Luckily, I had some great advisors at the University of Kansas who were there to support me through the rough times and encourage me to find creative solutions to my problems. Knowing who is a part of your support network is key.

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

This fall, I’ll be starting my first semester at the University of Minnesota’s Masters in Urban and Regional Planning program, where I plan to learn more about food systems planning and the opportunities to support young farmers. As an aspiring farmer, I hope to advocate for policies that sustain local food development across the country.