By Katie B., junior, German and Spanish.

When I came to visit Marquette during my senior year of high school, I really felt like it was home for me. I didn’t get that feeling at any of the other colleges I visited. Now as a student here, I know I wouldn’t be the same person if I had gone to college anywhere else. At Marquette, ideas of faith and the Marquette mission are ingrained in the curriculum. It feels like my faith and my academic experience are intertwined. Classes are engaging, and professors are approachable and friendly. I also appreciate the diversity and openness that Marquette promotes. This is the place that I am meant to be.

In the past three years, obtaining the financial support that I’ve needed to continue to attend Marquette has been a challenge. My dad has been out of work, and as hard as I’ve tried to juggle jobs and school, it still wasn’t enough. Every year, I’ve written a letter to the College of Arts and Sciences asking if there was any additional scholarship money available. They were able to help me in my freshman and sophomore years. But this year, there simply was no money for them to share with me. I had no idea how I would pay for school. I submitted a letter to the Office of Financial Aid, hoping and praying that something would work out.

Two hours later, I received an e-mail telling me that I had funding. I looked at that e-mail with pure disbelief, and when I called my parents, I’ll never forget how my mom screamed in the phone. I don’t know how I would have stayed at Marquette without generous donor support.

Writing the letters to ask for extra support really made me realize the value of money. I’ve always worked hard and earned good grades, so I always assumed that I would go to college. It wasn’t until last year that I realized that my education is a gift — it was never a guarantee. I know that I have been challenged to be who I am meant to be in life and that I will carry on the Marquette identity once I graduate. For this, I am absolutely grateful.