"My name is Mariah, and I'm currently a junior at the University of New Hampshire, majoring in chemical engineering. I'm the recipient of a scholarship funded by an estate gift, and I want to tell you a little bit about my UNH story. For the past two years, I have served as treasurer of the UNH Society of Women Engineers (SWE), an organization I've been involved with since the fall of my first year. The goal of SWE is to promote woman in STEM fields, which is an important goal of mine. I have made some fantastic friends through SWE while participating and organizing professional development and outreach activities that have helped me plan for my future career in the sciences.
A big part of my undergraduate career has been research. Since coming here I've received two fellowships and a grant to perform research, and recently won first place in a national poster companion at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers National Conference. My research at UNH has focused on electrochemical detection of analytes with the goal of creating a robust biosensor. My true passion has always been drug delivery and so I've accepted a position at Vanderbilt University's Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). An REU is a 10-week research experience funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) and are extremely competitive. I will be spending my summer learning about drug delivery, regenerative medicine, and biomaterials. The important thing for me is that these great experiences wouldn't be possible without the scholarship I've received. It has allowed me to attend UNH and continue to support my family at home. I have three jobs that help me pay for school; while I love all of my jobs and enjoy the experiences they offer, the additional financial security this scholarship provides is something I will always be grateful for.
I sometimes wish I could talk to the people who gave this money to UNH, who made my scholarship possible. I would start off by saying thank you. Donations for scholarships are what keeps many of us in school and it is wonderful that you have decided to help us. I would tell my donors that making this gift might not have seemed like a big thing at the time, but I want them to know their decision matters a lot those of us who need financial support. I'd also tell them that because of all the help I have received, I plan on doing the same when I am able. I appreciate the lesson my donors gave me. They taught me about the importance of giving back, and I hope to teach someone else the same someday. Thanks to my donors, and to donors like you, students like myself are able to enjoy the amazing experiences that UNH offers, and prepare for successful futures. On behalf of all of us who receive these scholarships, I want to say: Thank You."
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