Senior Debora Abera was one of 1,755 college-bound seniors who were awarded a four-year match scholarship through the QuestBridge program; over 17,900 students applied for match scholarships nationwide. Debora will attend Washington & Lee University.
Debora was surprised when she opened the email with the news, she shared. She'd had a disappointment with a scholarship application the previous year. " I wasn’t really relying on it. I was shocked, honestly," she said.
Debora opened the email with her sister on FaceTime, recording her reaction. "She was very excited for me," she said, noting that her family jumped up and down when she told them what had happened.
While she had not visited Washington & Lee prior to applying, when Debora visited after her match, she was excited to see what she loves about Visitation reflected on the college campus. "It's very interconnected. If you need help, you can go to your teacher," she noted, mentioning that everyone was friendly and campus had a small college vibe that she appreciated.
She feels prepared for the next step. "Coming to Visi, I was very shy ... I was scared to ask questions," Debora said. "Visitation taught me early on that I need to ask questions, I need to advocate for myself, and that is required in college." She shared that even in the application process, those skills were valuable.
Debora is considering studying computer science, as she enjoys her current class in AP Computer Science Principles with Mr. Eric Chalfin. "I've always wanted to create something I can say is my own," she said. Programming allows her to be creative and problem solve.
She'd like to thank two of her math teachers for making a difference for her: Mrs. Kathryn Krueger and Mrs. Mindy Moore. "I took honors pre-cal with Mrs. Krueger, and it was very hard for me," Debora said, mentioning that Krueger's tests required problem-solving and out-of-the-box thinking, skills she took with her into AP Computer Science now. "[Mrs. Moore] is so helpful, you don't even have to ask. The confidence she instills in you is really imperative," said Debora.