Scholar Spotlight: Dayanna Martinez-Soto
Senior at University of Iowa
“This scholarship has given me the opportunity to be the first generation in my family to attend college. Thanks to the Bright Foundation, I will be able to graduate on time with two majors, without having the financial burden of student loan debt.”
What opportunities or experiences have you been able to take part in that you might not have been able to without the scholarship?
Without this scholarship, I would not have had the opportunity to meet students and professors who share my interest in serving as a social worker for low-income communities and immigrants. I have been able to work with children from different backgrounds who come from communities that lack resources. This experience inspired me to serve as an intern at the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa.
I have also had an opportunity to develop many professional connections that have supported my success in school. These connections helped me find internships with nonprofit organizations and inspired me to pursue a degree in social work.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering applying for the Bright Scholarship/Lois Dale Scholarship?
I would advise anyone to take the chance and apply! I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t taken that same chance. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. This scholarship has given me so opportunities to learn, and it has guided my success at the University of Iowa.
What has been your biggest challenge since starting college?
My best advice is to prioritize homework and studying. It’s really easy to fall behind on school work if you don’t keep up with it all, and you may not know you’ve fallen behind until you realize you don’t know what’s going on in a lecture.
What is your ideal study environment?
I like studying in coffee shops. Iowa City has a variety of coffee shops, and they’re all good, but my two favorites are Prairie Lights and High Ground.
What’s the best food on campus?
There’s so much good food! I love the food truck that drives around campus. Meza has a variety of pizza to calm those late-night cravings. I also enjoy Sumo, Masala and Nodo.