Billy Leung, Pullman Scholar, University of Michigan, ’16
In my senior year of high school, I remember being constantly stressed trying to figure out how I was going to afford a college education. Thankfully, my high school counselor told me about the Pullman Foundation. With the Pullman Foundation’s generosity and support, I’m glad to say that I have just completed my junior year at the University of Michigan.
The support I’ve received from the Pullman Foundation has been more than just financial assistance; the Pullman Foundation has also provided the resources to help me succeed in and outside the classroom, manage my time effectively, and reach my career aspirations. In addition to using the many resources on the Pullman Foundation’s website, e-mails, LinkedIn blogs, and Facebook page, I had the opportunity to attend the Pullman Scholar Symposium, where I got to meet other Pullman Scholars and Pullman Alumni.
At the symposium, I attended a personal finance crash course, where I learned the intricacies of creating a personal budget, saving for retirement, and building credit. There was also an etiquette seminar, where I was able to learn proper networking and eating etiquette. This came in handy as I had to attend networking events and dinners during my internship search this past fall. Finally, I was able to listen to a panel of four Pullman Alumni speak about their experiences from college to their current careers. After listening to the panel, I was surprised (and relieved!) to learn that life really has a strange way of working out. Some of the alumni ended up in careers related to their college majors while other alumni ultimately ended up in positions completely unrelated to their college majors. The Pullman Alumni taught me that it’s okay to not have the future completely planned out. (more…)
In his spare time, Michael likes to: Play sports (especially baseball); cheer on the Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks; spend time with family and friends; and play with his golden retriever, “Sweetness,” who is named after Walter Payton.
After rocking his first year at Marquette University with a 3.95 GPA, Michael is ready to tackle his second year as an Exercise Physiology major and is a direct admit in Marquette’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program. After taking an interest in biology during high school, Michael began looking into the healthcare field. He shadowed a physical therapist at the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute and decided to pursue this career because he wants “to inspire patients and make a difference in their lives” while thinking critically when assessing injuries. Through hard work, dedication, and communication, Michael hopes to be a successful physical therapist and potentially have his own practice. (more…)
Three words Marco feels best to describe his personality: Positive, creative, and rational
A lesson college has taught Marco (outside of the classroom): Being away from home has made Marco realize that the interactions people have with one another are the most valuable. It’s the little things that matter.
Initially, Marco Leyva didn’t have his sight set on an economics major, but he became hooked on the subject when he took a class during his first year of college. Since then, he’s poured his time and efforts on the subject. “I signed up to take the Financial Markets and Institutions course my sophomore year without realizing what I was getting into. I was the only sophomore in this class full of seniors. I was intimidated at first, but I decided to stay. It was a ton work, and possibly the hardest course I have ever taken, but I ended up doing extremely well, and it felt amazing.” (more…)
Three words Asia feels best to describe her personality: humble, outspoken, caring
A lesson college has taught Asia (outside of the classroom): How to make her dollar stretch
Like many students, Asia’s transition to college had some ups and downs. She remembers feeling lost at times while adjusting to her new home and life in Florida. Realizing there were areas where she wanted to improve, Asia committed to working hard and reaching out to others for help when needed. She quickly learned how to write college-caliber papers, prepare for tests, send professional emails, and, the ever important time management lesson: not staying up all night to finish an assignment. Although Asia’s first semester at Saint Leo University had some challenging moments, her perseverance and drive to do her best carried her forward.
Now a sophomore, Asia is majoring in psychology and is passionate about a future career in counseling. Through one of her classes, Asia had the opportunity to visit a juvenile detention center, where she gained a first-hand understanding of some of the circumstances young people are working through, including violence, drug use, and lack of a stable environment. From this experience, Asia became interested in a career that would provide her opportunities to help youth facing similar circumstances. (more…)
While studying Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University, Diamond has had many opportunities to develop her interests. Whether she is doing research in African American Studies, working with Chicago Scholars, or studying abroad in Cairo, Egypt, she is always eager to gain new experiences.
“My favorite thing about college life is the freedom to find myself and figure out who I am and the ability to practice it.”
When asked about her accomplishments, Diamond has a long list of things to be proud of. She was recently awarded the G. Alfred Hess, Jr. Undergraduate Fellowship Fund Award. This prestigious grant was established in 2005 by Northwestern University to honor Alfred Hess and his major contributions to the School of Education and Social Policy. It supports and encourages students to develop their own research while engaging in interesting projects. Through this experience, she discovered her passion for academic research. One day she plans to pursue graduate level studies in African American Studies or Learning and Organizational Change. Regardless of her path, she knows it will involve achieving a Ph.D.
Diamond also had the opportunity to spend last semester studying abroad in Cairo, Egypt. She enjoyed being immersed in a new culture and experiencing a different part of the world. She is grateful for this eye-opening experience. “I am able to study abroad because I know that my scholarship is supporting me.” The Foundation has given her the flexibility to be involved with many activities outside of the classroom, without worrying about financial hardships. Diamond recognizes the importance of exploration in college and is enjoying her time pursuing her passions. She has the chance to see the world from a new perspective as a university student. “It feels great knowing I can take on the mysteries and adventures of life while having something concrete to ground me.”