The Elevations Basis helps native teenagers with persevering with schooling scholarships. Since 2010, these funds have made it doable for younger Coloradans to attend school, technical faculties and better schooling establishments to finest put together them for his or her futures. We frequently verify in with the students.
Just lately we caught up with Fiona Lighthiser, a 2021 graduate of Monarch Excessive Faculty within the Boulder Valley Faculty District.
Lighthiser presently attends George Mason College in Fairfax, Virginia, the place she research authorities and worldwide politics with a focus in worldwide relations. Her curiosity in these areas stems from a love of journey, studying new languages and fascinating with different cultures.
“I believe there’s a energy in human connection that isn’t appreciated or explored sufficient,” Lighthiser stated. “Additionally, I’ve all the time had an curiosity in worldwide safety in addition to improvement and hope to discover these areas extra.”
Lighthiser is on monitor to graduate from George Mason College in 2025.
Earlier than heading off to school, Lighthiser was energetic in lots of golf equipment, hobbies and volunteer actions. Her passions embody exploring Latin tradition (music, dance, cooking), singing, enjoying guitar and soccer.
One expertise that made a long-lasting impression was her time because the Vice President of the Spanish Honor Society.
“By this place, I helped construct a tutoring program for elementary and center schoolers within the space that linked youngsters with highschool tutors within the society chapter,” Lighthiser stated. “These college students have been primarily from Hispanic households so with the ability to join, speak, and assist them with homework, studying, and many others., performed an influential function in what I selected to check in school.”
As she made plans for education, Lighthiser utilized to high schools in Colorado and past. She selected a college close to Washington D.C. to be in a neighborhood with a robust worldwide relations presence. She additionally was interested in the research overseas program for first-year college students at George Mason College.
“The Elevations Foundation was important in serving to to fund my alternative to attend school out of state, and all of the experiences which got here after,” Lighthiser stated.
Residing the faculty life
Throughout her freshman 12 months, Lighthiser spent the spring 2022 semester learning in Quito, Ecuador, at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. She loved enhancing her Spanish-speaking expertise, exploring Ecuador and Peru and assembly new individuals.
“I like to journey and study new locations and cultures,” Lighthiser stated. “I’ve been to Spain, Norway, England, Eire, Peru and Ecuador. My curiosity has grown in Spanish and Latin cultures as I become older and be taught extra about my household in Argentina.
“I grew up with my grandmother (from Argentina) residing in shut proximity, however since getting back from Ecuador I’ve been in a position to converse in Spanish together with her extra and delve extra into elements of my heritage I had by no means linked with earlier than. This expertise has grown my concept of what I wish to do sooner or later and what’s most significant to me in life.”
When she’s not touring or attending lessons, Lighthiser enjoys teaching at Coerver Colorado* the place she develops youth soccer gamers’ strategies and expertise. She began as a participant within the group and ultimately grew to become employed in 2019. Since she’s in Virginia for school, she coaches through the summers and over winter break when she is again residence in Colorado.
*Hyperlinks to third-party web site
Throughout her first 12 months in school, Lighthiser additionally joined the Latin Dance Membership, was the captain of a co-ed intramural soccer workforce and visited D.C. and Georgetown many instances.
A way forward for journey and household time
As she desires about the place life will take her after school, Lighthiser plans to realize many, many extra worldwide experiences.
“I hope to journey to Argentina to go to all my household who lives there,” Lighthiser stated. “Additionally, I wish to discover all of Latin America, be taught Brazilian Portuguese, proceed to excellent my Spanish, coach soccer after I can and be taught extra about Latin dance types and music typically.”
And relating to a profession path, she says her purpose is to work a job that permits for ample journey and residing round Latin America the place she will use her Spanish-speaking expertise, meet new individuals and alter the angle individuals have about Latin America to be extra optimistic and accepting. And naturally, she plans to expertise as a lot new meals, dancing and music as doable.
Lighthiser shared some sensible phrases of recommendation for graduating highschool seniors who’re headed to school this fall.
“By no means say ‘no’ to a brand new expertise,” Lighthiser stated. “In fact, one wants to concentrate on their private security, however outdoors of that, being open and prepared to strive new issues lets you be taught extra about your self and discover what’s essential to you.
“When you’ve got the chance to journey or research overseas, achieve this! Residing in a unique nation for greater than a month is an unbelievable studying expertise!”
Elevations Basis is a 501(c)3 group that has supplied over $570,000 in scholarships since 2010 to assist college-bound college students in our neighborhood. Discover out extra about Elevations Foundation scholarships and please contemplate donating to our scholarship program so we might proceed making school a actuality for promising younger individuals like Fiona Lighthiser.