The Elevations Basis helps native teenagers with persevering with schooling scholarships. Since 2010, these funds have made it potential for younger Coloradans to attend faculty, technical colleges and better schooling establishments to finest put together them for his or her futures. We regularly test in with the students.
Lately we caught up with Fiona Lighthiser, a 2021 graduate of Monarch Excessive Faculty within the Boulder Valley Faculty District.
Lighthiser at present 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 interesting with different cultures.
“I feel there’s a energy in human connection that isn’t appreciated or explored sufficient,” Lighthiser mentioned. “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 observe to graduate from George Mason College in 2025.
Earlier than heading off to varsity, Lighthiser was lively 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 an enduring impression was her time because the Vice President of the Spanish Honor Society.
“Via this place, I helped construct a tutoring program for elementary and center schoolers within the space that linked children with highschool tutors within the society chapter,” Lighthiser mentioned. “These college students had been primarily from Hispanic households so with the ability to join, speak, and assist them with homework, studying, and so forth., performed an influential function in what I selected to check in faculty.”
As she made plans for education, Lighthiser utilized to schools in Colorado and past. She selected a faculty close to Washington D.C. to be in a neighborhood with a powerful worldwide relations presence. She additionally was interested in the research overseas program for first-year college students at George Mason College.
“The Elevations Basis was important in serving to to fund my alternative to attend faculty out of state, and all of the experiences which got here after,” Lighthiser mentioned.
Residing the faculty life
Throughout her freshman 12 months, Lighthiser spent the spring 2022 semester finding out in Quito, Ecuador, at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. She loved bettering her Spanish-speaking abilities, exploring Ecuador and Peru and assembly new folks.
“I like to journey and study new locations and cultures,” Lighthiser mentioned. “I’ve been to Spain, Norway, England, Eire, Peru and Ecuador. My curiosity has grown in Spanish and Latin cultures as I grow old and study 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 along with her extra and delve extra into components 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 abilities. She began as a participant within the group and finally turned 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 website
Throughout her first 12 months in faculty, Lighthiser additionally joined the Latin Dance Membership, was the captain of a co-ed intramural soccer staff and visited D.C. and Georgetown many instances.
A way forward for journey and household time
As she goals about the place life will take her after faculty, Lighthiser plans to achieve many, many extra worldwide experiences.
“I hope to journey to Argentina to go to all my household who lives there,” Lighthiser mentioned. “Additionally, I wish to discover all of Latin America, study Brazilian Portuguese, proceed to excellent my Spanish, coach soccer once I can and study extra about Latin dance kinds and music on the whole.”
And in the case of a profession path, she says her objective is to work a job that enables for ample journey and residing round Latin America the place she will use her Spanish-speaking abilities, meet new folks and alter the attitude folks 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 potential.
Lighthiser shared some sensible phrases of recommendation for graduating highschool seniors who’re headed to varsity this fall.
“By no means say ‘no’ to a brand new expertise,” Lighthiser mentioned. “In fact, one wants to concentrate on their private security, however outdoors of that, being open and keen to attempt new issues lets you study extra about your self and discover what’s necessary to you.
“In case you have the chance to journey or research overseas, accomplish that! 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 Basis scholarships and please think about donating to our scholarship program so we might proceed making faculty a actuality for promising younger folks like Fiona Lighthiser.