Simple Gifts offers educational opportunities

By Danielle Sawyer - Simple Gifts
Danielle Sawyer -

The moment came, when I needed to decide to enter a university and achieve a higher education. Just like hundreds of other students, I was faced with a real financial and academic dilemma of which university to choose private or public and how was I going to make this dream a reality.

Since there was no single, all-purpose answer to this question, the best option was to examine the advantages of both. In addition and possibly more importantly affordability to achieve a higher education was an enormous obstacle to overcome. While my family was extremely supportive of my aspirations I knew I would need financial assistance to achieve this lofty goal of attending a private liberal arts institution out of state.

It was nothing less than miraculous when my dream was granted by the Simple Gifts Foundation as well as the assistance along the path by the coordinator of the Simple Gifts Fund, Margaret Turlington. One cannot begin to find the words to express my gratitude to The Simple Gifts Foundation for their belief in me and my aspirations to contribute towards my educational endeavors.

There are many advantages to both public and private institutions. There were many advantages to public universities, but it was not long into my investigation of possible higher institutions of learning that it became quite apparent that private universities are each intensely unique.

From differences in curriculum and academic standards to mission statements each private liberal arts university seemed to create an atmosphere that is truly its own. The students not politics were the priority of most of the liberal arts universities, but this was especially true of Hollins University.

The instructors at Hollins University set the bar high at the beginning-and have kept me jumping since the first day of classes. Education is my prerogative for my college career and Hollins University as a private small liberal arts university meets this criteria. Starting from the Early Transition Program to the actual classes, all of my mentors, professors and staff at Hollins University have strived to cultivate the ideal atmosphere for my success.

I strongly believe the professors will enable me as well as the fortunate students that are able to attend Hollins to become profoundly capable contributors to our society. My experience is limited but little compares to the education I am receiving at Hollins.

There are numerous reasons for attending a private liberal arts university. These include but are not limited to the low number of students at which has increased the possibility for tutorials and consultations.

These types of academic activities are the norm at Hollins and take place within small groups and stimulate dialogue between professors and students. This is an unbelievable benefit of a small private university because this way of academic interaction and communication is helping me to develop a deeper analytic and critical way of thinking which I am certain will be of great importance for my future career.

In addition, like professors at state universities, the instructors at private universities have track records that attest to their personal academic achievements. Here at Hollins the professors seem to be especially loyal to the university as well as they seem intensely interested in all their students achievements.

My career path at Hollins is premedicine with an additional interest in dance. The faculty has assisted me in every way possible to assure I am able to pursue both interests-Biology and Dance regardless of possible schedule conflicts.

Since I have been at Hollins learning has been the emphasis rather than the curriculum. My courses are rigorous and the course work is unending, but learning is the central focus at Hollins University. In addition the student community is an integral part of Hollins University.

At first this seemed difficult, as I tend to be a more independent student who prefers a less hands on approach, but I quickly saw the benefits. Here at Hollins the students communicate closely with professors both in and out of the classroom and students themselves attempt to involve everyone in campus activities.

I have found in just these first few months at Hollins University that involvement in the student community is one of the keys to fully enjoying my college experience at a private out of state college.

I am truly blessed that I selected Hollins University and they granted me admission. But the opportunity provided to me by the Simple Gifts Fund has made this opportunity a reality.

I know for certain that the decision to continue studies and get a well-rounded education is always the right one. The most incredible blessing was receiving a simple gifts scholarship, which has allowed me to accept the admission to Hollins University to begin my rigorous academic program.

The opportunities I will be able to experience in the future have been made possible due to the financial assistance of the Simple Gifts Fund and Hollins University. I am forever grateful to have so many individuals supporting my endeavors.

By Danielle Sawyer

Simple Gifts

Danielle Sawyer Sawyer