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2022-2023 Gems of STEM Scholarship Application Available Now!

In Conversation with 2017 GT20 Femme 4 STEM Award Winner, Tiffany Donaldson

Nearly a year after she won the GT20 Femme 4 STEM award, Tiffany Donaldson is finishing up her Freshman year at UCSB. GiveTeens20® caught up with her to find out what this Biology major has been up to in the past year!

GiveTeens20®: Hi Tiffany! How has your Freshman year at UC Santa Barbara been so far?
Tiffany: I am gradually getting used to doing things independently and managing my time productively. It was initially tricky, but I think I have got the hang of it. Classes are completely different from high school, especially Chemistry and Math! To top it all, the Quarter system is very fast-paced as we learn a new chapter each week and earlier in the year, I was shocked to find out that the first mid-term examinations were two weeks into the quarter!

“The Femme 4 STEM scholarship enabled me to come to UCSB as a Freshman!”

GT20: That’s what we call intense! Tell us how the GT20 Femme 4 STEM Scholarship has affected your life.
T: The Femme 4 STEM Scholarship helped me out significantly, especially in the initial part of the academic year. If I had not been granted this scholarship, I would have had to take out loans immediately since I didn’t get a full scholarship at UCSB, but received financial aid. The Femme 4 STEM scholarship enabled me to come to UCSB as a Freshman because, otherwise, I would have had to go to Community College. It paid for my Fall and Winter Quarter and gave us time to save more and pay for the Spring quarter all by ourselves, taking a huge financial burden off our shoulders. I have no loans so far for my first year and I am so thankful for it!

Tiffany (Second from Left) with her mom and the Board of Directors of GiveTeens20® during her check presentation

GT20: That’s great to know! This is a question we would like to ask to throw some light on the Scholarship application process. Applying for the Femme 4 STEM Scholarship could be considered difficult as it has a lot of pieces to it. What do you say to Senior girls who might think it is too tough an application process?
T: I agree that the application process might be hard, with good reason too! I mean, if it was easy, then everybody would be applying, and it would be harder to get! If you really need the scholarship and will do anything it takes to achieve your goals, I say pull up your sleeves and do it, you won’t regret it! Going through the whole process will make you stand out more and say a lot about your passion and your drive. If you really want it, nothing will stand in your way!

GT20: That’s an inspiring way to look at the process, Tiffany! What advice and encouragement do you have to give to High School Senior girls going into STEM education?
T: The biggest advice I will give them is have reasons! Have significant reasons that drive you every day to pursue a career in STEM (whether it be personal reasons, general ones or a mixture of both). The path to STEM is not easy and it is not an easy major to get into. Setting a purpose for pursuing such a demanding path, coupled with the confidence and perseverance you possess as a young woman will ultimately allow you to push through whatever challenges you face. This will undeniably arm girls in STEM with the chance to reach new heights of success in their chosen fields!

To find out more about the Femme 4 STEM Scholarship and check if you or your high school student qualifies, click here!