Lesley, 17 – Funded

You could say that Lesley, a senior at Tustin High School, represents the “E” in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects. She wants to become an environmental engineer — an engineer of some sort, perhaps even computer science. As such, her top-choice schools right now are California Polytechnic Pomona, California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo, UCLA, and UCI.

What is something you are most proud of?

I’m most proud of my drive to reach out for opportunities as well as my ability to learn from my mistakes. I don’t let failure stop me from pursuing anything I set my mind to — even with the uncertainty of life.

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

Yes, I have been through emotionally challenging experiences such major health diagnoses that have happened to me and my family. It takes an emotional toll on anyone, so during these times and I remember to have hope for a better future and to remember that I’m not alone.

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

To be selected as a Girl on the Rise means that I’m supported by not only my Big Sister [at Big Brothers Big Sisters] and family, but also an organization that seeks to empower girls like me. I’m lucky to have been selected and I’m very grateful!

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

I was inspired by my Big Sister and my friends who have believed in me and supported me to reach for this wonderful chance to improve and put myself out there.

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?

This is very important because the ambience of a school will give me an idea of the school culture and how it can help me build a sense of community there. Making the right choice of school helps pave the way for a positive attitude and further enjoyment of being an alumni.

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

I will visit Cal-Poly Pomona and Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo because they are both schools that have a hands-on approach that I love for engineering; they also apply engineering practices in their curriculum.