Scholar Thoughts

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Raegen Smith

Iowa State University Alum

The most valu­able part of being a Bright Schol­ar was expe­ri­enc­ing col­lege from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. I am so grate­ful for every oppor­tu­ni­ty and posi­tion I was able to hold because I had noth­ing to wor­ry about and could tru­ly enjoy every moment. Hav­ing the free­dom to get involved allowed me to fur­ther my pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment and give back to the col­lege and com­mu­ni­ty, things I would not have been able to do if I didn’t have the scholarship.” 

Derek Steffen

University of Iowa Alum

Dur­ing col­lege, the Bright Schol­ar­ship allowed me to focus on school instead of work­ing mul­ti­ple jobs to stay afloat. In my three years since col­lege, the same has been true – instead of being forced to wor­ry about accept­ing any job just to pay my stu­dent loans, I’ve been able to chase (and land) my dream job!” 

Michaela Price

Des Moines Area Community College

I’m a stu­dent at DMACC and this award is extreme­ly help­ful and appre­ci­at­ed. All this past semes­ter, I’ve been work­ing and going to school while bare­ly mak­ing it by. This award will give me the chance to focus on school more. I am so hon­ored to receive it and I am so thank­ful there are peo­ple like you to help col­lege stu­dents, like myself, out. I plan on fin­ish­ing up school and becom­ing an ele­men­tary teacher. The schol­ar­ship will help me get one step clos­er to that goal!”

Sonia Lopez

Iowa State University

I am beyond grate­ful for the oppor­tu­ni­ties this schol­ar­ship has opened up for me. Many doors closed right in front of me, and the Bright Foun­da­tion opened up a door of hope for my future. I some­times think I am dream­ing and soon real­ize this is real­ly hap­pen­ing. I am the first one in my fam­i­ly to attend a Uni­ver­si­ty. I can not put into words how much of a bless­ing this has been not only for me but for my fam­i­ly! I will for­ev­er be thankful.”

Zachary Youmans

University of Northern Iowa

I am and always will be eter­nal­ly grate­ful for what you have done for me and what you’ve done for oth­ers. It’s tru­ly amaz­ing how two spe­cial peo­ple, Lois and Dale Bright, could be so gen­er­ous in help­ing oth­ers out. I tru­ly aspire to be like them, giv­ing out of gen­eros­i­ty and expect­ing noth­ing in return. As col­lege rolls on, I get more and more excit­ed to become a teacher of math­e­mat­ics, not just to teach young adults math, but also to chal­lenge and aspire them to be bet­ter peo­ple. With­out your help though, I am not sure any of that would be pos­si­ble. For that, I am tru­ly thank­ful. For now though, I will con­tin­ue on in col­lege, doing the best I pos­si­bly can do and doing my best to rep­re­sent the Bright Foun­da­tion well. Thank you for all you do again, and God Bless.”

Tess Lough

University of Iowa

With each pass­ing semes­ter I become even more thank­ful for this schol­ar­ship. My col­lege expe­ri­ence has been phe­nom­e­nal and this schol­ar­ship deserves all the cred­it. You have allowed to me the oppor­tu­ni­ty to thor­ough­ly enjoy receiv­ing my edu­ca­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Iowa. I am thank­ful to be a Bright Schol­ar of Iowa. Thank you so much for the col­lege expe­ri­ence you have let me have through this scholarship.”

Nickolas Kutsch

University of Iowa

My first year in col­lege has been amaz­ing. I was able to get involved with intra­mur­al sports, Iowa Wish­mak­ers and Dance Marathon because you took the finan­cial bur­den off my back and allowed for me to get the most out of my col­lege expe­ri­ence. I’ve been able to focus on school and not wor­ry about work­ing which has allowed me to get the most out of my edu­ca­tion. I was also able to ful­fill one of my dreams before going to col­lege; I was able to pay for a child’s Make-A-Wish trip to Dis­ney World with my grad­u­a­tion mon­ey because of your gen­eros­i­ty and cov­er­ing the expens­es of my edu­ca­tion. This first year has been great and I can­not wait for the next three years. Thank you Bright Schol­ars of Iowa!”

Marissa Hunt

Indian Hills Community College

I am so thank­ful to be part of such an out­stand­ing group of stu­dents. This schol­ar­ship was one of the great­est things to ever hap­pen to me and I could not have asked for any­thing bet­ter. I loved get­ting the oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet the oth­er schol­ars at the ban­quet and have felt noth­ing but wel­comed by this whole orga­ni­za­tion. Thank you all so much for everything!”

Leah Waughtal

University of Iowa

I want to per­son­al­ly thank the Bright Foun­da­tion for this year. I would not be near­ly as suc­cess­ful with­out their finan­cial sup­port. I come from an incred­i­bly hum­ble back­ground and the finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty they have giv­en me in the form of this schol­ar­ship has allowed me to com­mit my high­est poten­tial to my class­work. They are the rea­son I am the stu­dent I am today. I have tried to car­ry the Bright Foun­da­tion’s val­ues close to my heart this aca­d­e­m­ic year. I worked extreme­ly hard and devot­ed much of my out­side time to vol­un­teer work. I can­not put into works how grate­ful I am for the oppor­tu­ni­ties this foun­da­tion has giv­en me. They have laid the ground­work for all of my cur­rent and future suc­cess. I plan to cel­e­brate these val­ues, and this foun­da­tion for the rest of my life.”

Kayla Baker

Indian Hills Community College

I would like to take this time to thank you for your con­tri­bu­tion towards the schol­ar­ship I have been grant­ed through Indi­an Hills Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege. I will be attend­ing Indi­an Hills with a major in psy­chol­o­gy. I then plan to trans­fer to a four-year col­lege and poten­tial­ly grad­u­ate school after that to con­tin­ue my edu­ca­tion. Thank you again for your con­tri­bu­tion and the end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties you have giv­en me!”

Hannah Wailes

Des Moines Area Community College

This schol­ar­ship means a great deal to me. Because of this gift, I will be able to not only attend col­lege for free, but I will also be able to stay close to home and main­tain a close rela­tion­ship with my par­ents and help out as my moth­er bat­tles can­cer. This schol­ar­ship has giv­en me encour­age­ment to work hard not only in school but hav­ing a job also. With this help, I will be able to pur­sue my dream of becom­ing a vet­eri­nar­i­an and accom­plish my goals. I can’t thank you enough for this opportunity!”

Carissa Pityer

Iowa State University

I would like to thank you for your con­tri­bu­tion. With­out your help, it would be dif­fi­cult to attend col­lege and pur­sue my dream career of being a vet­eri­nar­i­an. I am extreme­ly hon­ored and hope to give back to foun­da­tions like this one day.”

Brian Becker

Iowa State University

As I fin­ish my sopho­more year, I am grate­ful that I have received the Bright Schol­ar­ship to help me achieve my goals. My grades have been good and I am proud that I’ve been mak­ing Dean’s List. I attend­ed the Engi­neer­ing job fair to tar­get com­pa­nies for a sum­mer intern­ship. After being offered two, I chose Nutra Flo, a liq­uid fer­til­iz­er man­u­fac­tur­er in South Dako­ta. I’m excit­ed to see what I will learn and how much I know out in the real world of Mechan­i­cal Engi­neer­ing. Thank you again for award­ing me the Bright Schol­ar­ship. Thanks to the Bright Foun­da­tion, I have been able to attend ISU with­out the bur­den of deep finan­cial indebt­ed­ness. It has allowed me to expe­ri­ence ISU but most impor­tant­ly, I have been able to study in order to do well in my class­es. It is because of the Brights — they had a vision to help young peo­ple in Iowa achieve high­er edu­ca­tion. I am excit­ed to be a part of that vision.”

Angeline Vanle

University of Iowa

I can­not even begin to prop­er­ly thank or even put into words how much this foun­da­tion has helped put me on an amaz­ing path to reach and accom­plish my dreams. Ever since I was sev­en years old, I have want­ed to become a doc­tor. I want­ed to be able to help peo­ple, to make sick peo­ple bet­ter, to be a heal­er, and to learn and grow to the fullest of my abil­i­ties. Because of the Bright schol­ar­ship, these dreams and goals are clos­er with­in reach. I am achiev­ing suc­cess in ways I nev­er thought were pos­si­ble. My dreams may have been to help oth­ers and learn as much as I pos­si­bly can, but this foun­da­tion has helped me and giv­en me the chance to do the things I love, to push myself, learn, and expe­ri­ence the joy of hard work and suc­cess. This schol­ar­ship inspired me to help oth­ers as well. Cur­rent­ly, I am pur­su­ing a research oppor­tu­ni­ty with Dr. Mario Ascoli, Carv­er Col­lege of Med­i­cine, to help with work on find­ing cures for infer­til­i­ty. I am also in the begin­ning stages of recruit­ment for alpha Kap­pa Delta Phi soror­i­ty! A lot of things have been going on for me, but none of this would be pos­si­ble with­out the Bright Foun­da­tion. This foun­da­tion gave me the bless­ing of not hav­ing to be stressed, finan­cial secu­ri­ty, the abil­i­ty to reach my goals, but most impor­tant­ly, faith in myself to do what I love best, so again, thank you.”