The San Diego Foundation’s Community Scholarships Program has awarded nearly $24 million since 1997. Among our impressive scholarship “alumni” is Macy Olivas, who was awarded The Patricia & Christopher Weil Family Foundation’s MKC College Scholarship in 2009.
I got the chance to catch up with Macy last week, who has graduated from The Preuss School at UC San Diego, attended Whitworth University, and is now the Executive Director of The Patricia & Christopher Weil Family Foundation.
Interview with Scholarship Recipient: Macy Olivas
Wyn Furman: What led you to apply for a scholarship through The San Diego Foundation?
Macy Olivas: I first heard about The San Diego Foundation scholarships through my high school college counselor. When reading more into the background, I learned that both Mr. and Mrs. Weil were the first in their families to go college, which was a significant factor when deciding whether to apply.
WF: How has receiving this scholarship impacted your life?
MO: Without the financial support of the Weil family, I would have not been able to graduate from college in four years. I was even able to work one less job to focus on my studies. In addition, staying connected with and ultimately working for the Weil Family Foundation has enabled me to achieve my dream of giving back to the communities and people that helped me get to where I am today.
WF: Tell us about your passion for education reform and community development. How are you engaged in creating change?
MO: As a first-generation college graduate, I believe it is my duty to fight for the students walking the path I did. Students, I believe, are a critical investment and we cannot invest in them without investing in their schools and their communities. I attend local school board meetings, take classes in UC San Diego’s education studies program, work with the Preuss High School Robotics team, and serve on the Board of the Latina Giving Circle.
WF: You now manage the awards process for several scholarship funds, including the award you received. Do you have advice for future scholarship seekers?
- Allot plenty of time to fill out and edit your application. It’s a red flag when students forget to fill out portions of their application and have spelling or grammatical errors.
- Let your true colors shine through. Grades and test scores are important, but adding your personality to the application makes the process more fun for you and for the reader.
- Have your recommenders reinforce—not reiterate—what is in your application.
- People want to see you succeed, so don’t forget to thank them for supporting you!
About Wyn Furman
Wyn provides support to the Community Scholarship Program by recruiting and training volunteers to serve on selection committees, facilitating application reviews and determining student award packages. She previously served as The Foundation’s Manager of Community Research and originally joined the organization to support Our Greater San Diego Vision, a community-planning effort that engaged 30,000 people across the region.
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