Connie has taken full advantage of the many opportunities, both in and outside the classroom, to further her knowledge in ecology and horticulture, and she attributes her ability to do so to scholarship support she’s received, including the Charter Scholarship. Charter Scholarships are funded, in part, by the collective generosity of donors who make annual, unrestricted gifts to UGA; the scholarships are awarded to recipients based on academic achievements and financial needs.
“My scholarship has helped to relieve the financial stress that I would be under without it. Because I don’t have to worry as much about funding my education, I’ve been able to gain experience on a volunteer basis rather than focusing on paid positions,” said Connie.
Most recently, Connie assisted a Ph.D. student in the School of Ecology with her research. She gained valuable insight into the demands and rewards of graduate school work. Her scholarship support made this experience possible.
Connie is also involved in several student organizations that champion the causes that most impassion her. EcoReach sends Connie and fellow ecology majors to local elementary schools to educate students about environmental issues. She’s also a member of UGA’s Horticulture Club. One of her favorite experiences at UGA was competing as a team in the National Collegiate Landscape Competition in Starkville, Mississippi, in 2016.
In May 2017, Connie will return to Costa Rica to complete the Tropical Ecology Maymester, through which she’ll participate in both lab and field work. Connie feels empowered to continue striving toward her goals.
“[My scholarship] made me realize that all of my hard work was not for nothing,” said Connie. “It really made me feel that somebody believed in me and knew that I had the potential to do great things.”