LOUISVILLE, Ky. A senior from Fern Creek High School in Louisville recently received a $3,000 scholarship from pop-rock band Imagine Dragons.
Like many refugee students who left their original homes to come to the United States, 17-year-old Trishna Dahal from Nepal had to break down barriers on her way to academic success.
“Actually, it’s a lot different to live through and have to make a decision to get up every day and keep going through the motions and being where you want to be,” Dahal explains.
After a while, through all the language hurdles and academic rigor, getting along became easier for Dahal, as she learned to accept and celebrate her differences.
“I feel like a lot of the life choices that my parents and I made have resulted in a lot of these opportunities for us,” Dahal said.
Fast forward to now, High School in Fern Creek is planning to study computer science.
“I know this is going to be expensive, so I try to save as much money as possible and get as many scholarships as possible so I can go anywhere I want,” Dahal explains.
Graduate 4.0 was among four others chosen for a surprise that will affect their future.
The teen won a $3,000 scholarship from Grammy Award-winning band Imagine Dragons.
“They help create opportunities for kids like me to actually go to college and get a degree in something we’re passionate about,” Dahal adds.
In their applications, the students were to share their powerful stories about the hardships they faced as refugees.
“I feel like it shows how open the band is to accepting new people and also creating scholarships and opportunities for disadvantaged students,” Dahal said.
In partnership with Bold.org, the band created the Origins Scholarship to support first-generation students, immigrants, and refugees.
Now, Trishna is using her passion to encourage others to explore interests in STEM fields.
“It is really important to get the word out and allow refugees, immigrants and other women to join STEM, to get access to higher education,” Dahal suggests.
Many students like Dahal are pushing their way into a successful future with the help of educators like Beau Baker, dean of the Ivy Plus Academy Program at Fern Creek High School.
“Yeah, scholarship is great but I think this just speaks to the idea that there are people in our community that you don’t know that you might never meet but who support you, they are in your corner,” Becker explains.
Trishna is the daughter of immigrant parents. She wasn’t sure how to pay for college.
But the scholarship winner has some advice for other students trying to figure out their future.
“Never stop trying so hard. I think I applied for at least 20 or 30 scholarships on the website before I finally got this one and was already ready to deactivate my account and stop.
She says that the secret of her success is perseverance and belief in herself
Trishna applied to 12 colleges and was recently accepted into two including the University of Louisville.