Maylana, 17 – Funded

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Maylana Russell may live in Omaha, but she has her eye on a destination across the pond. She wants to be a Spanish teacher or athletic trainer in the U.K., which explains her interest in the University College London. She’s also focused on the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities because of their good athletic education departments.

What is something you are most proud of?

I am most proud of winning Nationals for the African American History Challenge because my teammate and I beat the unbeatable team.

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

A tough challenge I faced was the sudden death of a friend. It was hard to focus on schoolwork because it was constantly on my mind. But, I got through it by talking with friends who were going through the same thing. I also got through it by not dwelling on her passing but instead celebrating the time we had with her. I try to have the same positive energy she always had. It took me a while to do this, but I got there.

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

Being a Girl on the Rise means being determined and looking for the best college that will help me achieve my dreams.

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

I have been financially restricted from visiting potential colleges I would like to attend. So, Girls on the Rise helps me with the money situation, and I can now focus on deciding which colleges to visit.

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 by allowing me to visit colleges I believe fit my interests. I want to go to a college that will help me grow and give me a great education. Having the opportunity to personally visit the colleges will help me determine which one will be a great fit for me.