Helena, 18 – FUNDED

Helena Berger is currently finishing up the semester at Stephens College. But, that doesn’t mean she’s taking the summer off — quite the contrary. The 1,000 Dreams Fund Scholarship recipient opted to take three summer-school classes at University of Missouri – Kansas City (UKMC) that will transfer to Stephens. Her desire to work in the health and computer industry is what drives her, and although her main studies are focused on communications and design, she’ll be focusing on the technology piece during the summer.

What is your professional dream?

I want to do everything! My parents have always believed you can do what you want. As a little girl, I wanted to be an author, a dancer and a brain surgeon. I have since decided the computer brain is the one thing I find most interesting and it will allow me to work in all the fields I dreamed of when I was young. Create, design, and fix.

How will you use the 1,000 Dreams Scholarship?

My summer classes at UKMC!

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

It will help me attend those additional classes I need to succeed at what I see for my future.

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

GO FOR IT! Dream big. I was raised by my mother who told me everything was possible. She was right.

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

My first college semester was fun, but I ran into a challenge towards the end. My grades where great; I had secured a position on the esports team; and dance team was going well. I then met a boy who I let distract me from my dreams. My dance coach noticed I was showing up late and gave me quite the lecture; then, I called my mom thinking she would support my frustration with my coach. I was wrong. She agreed with the coach and told me that I needed to stay focused. Then, I was diagnosed with the flu and I’ve never been so sick. Every day was a struggle. I made several calls home crying and wanting to give up. My family pushed me to keep going. I’ve never been in a situation like this that required me to be my own motivator. But, I did it. I kept my eyes on the prize and finished the semester. Plus, I learned that you have to take care of yourself. Freedom is a great thing to have when you are away at school if you manage your time and health well. I did not… but, next semester, I will do better to keep my eye on my goals.

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

I would like to finish my undergraduate degree and begin working on a Master’s degree in computer application and design.