Kellogg Community College Foundation Board of Trustees Scholarship recipient Mary Welk graduated from Harper Creek High School in 2020 and is studying accounting at KCC with the goal of transferring to Western Michigan University to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
Below, Welk answers some questions about her experiences as a student at KCC and specifically as a Board of Trustees Scholarship recipient.
What does being a Board of Trustees Scholar mean to you?
Being a scholarship recipient means that all the skills and abilities I’ve learned from high school are enhanced by the activities that all scholars need to complete. I can specifically focus on school and not have to worry about when payments for classes are due, and if I can even continue attending class. It also allows me to put any money I’m earning now toward my future, like going to WMU, renting an apartment and buying a car.
What is your favorite thing about the Board of Trustees Scholarship program?
My favorite thing about the scholarship program is the various activities required for every member. For example, every semester each student is obligated to have an enrichment activity. That means I need to find something I haven’t done yet; it’s just trying new things. So now when I tell my parents I have to go skydiving, I’ll just say it’s for school and they might let me.
What is something you learned from your scholarship program leadership, enrichment or service activities?
A quote from the incredibly helpful (former Student Life Manager) Drew Hutchinson when he was here: “Don’t panic. Don’t disappear.” No matter if you’re lost, frustrated or upset, there’s always someone around who can help you. The main thing I learned is that the people (students and staff) truly want you to succeed. Activities that I’ve done have shown me that people support what I do, even if it’s not perfect.
What is one thing you learned about yourself through your development activities as a Board of Trustees Scholar?
From activities I’ve participated in, I realized that I can do whatever I want to. Does this sound cliché? Yes, but I never truly believed that I could achieve as much as I have. I am applying to lots more scholarships than I did in high school; not only is it more, but it’s ones that I don’t even feel like I qualify for. I also feel like I’m a little bit more talkative (not by much, but I’m getting there).
What is a special memory or experience you’ve had that wouldn’t have happened if not for the Board of Trustees Scholarship program?
A special memory I had happened only a week ago. I am a Phi Theta Kappa officer and we inducted other PTK members last week. When we were told that a speech was going to be given onstage, I started getting nervous. I’m what people would classify as an introvert, and not a public speaker. The day arrived and I was fine, even when I sat onstage and waited for my part. It seems that as soon as I stood up to speak, my heart jumped in my throat. My voice started to quiver, I lost my place, I began sweating; it was a mess. My fellow officers said I did well though, but that memory will live with me for a long time. I now know that even if my nerves suddenly jump, I can complete my task. It will not be perfect, but I’ll have better memories.
What do you ultimately want to do for a career, and why did you choose that profession?
I would ultimately like to be an accountant because I know how adults, including myself and my parents, feel about money and taxes. No one enjoys tax season and if there’s a way I can ease their stress even a little bit, I want to do it. I trust myself to work hard and learn as much about accounting/ business as possible, so I hope that people in the future will trust me as well.
KCC Foundation scholarship applications for new, returning and graduating KCC students are available now and can be completed entirely online for free. Visit kellogg.edu/kccscholarships for links to scholarship applications and more information about scholarships for KCC students.
The photo of Welk above is courtesy of Jasmine McMaster.