Tasneem Nomanbhai - 2003 Recipient
I am very honored to write this letter as a recipient of the Zeolite Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship has played a very integral part in supporting my endeavors throughout college. It helped to fund not only my college education, but more importantly, it has helped me to pursue my goals.
In high school, I decide upon attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I had been applying for a few scholarships and I was excited when I received a ZSF scholarship from our Mather alumni. In return for the scholarship, I remember taking the oath and all I was asked to do was maintain my grades so I could be a successful student at U of I. It was a subtle, yet promising gesture that I remembered a couple years down the road. When I was doing poorly in a class because of dire circumstances, one of the things that came to mind was the pledge I took to do my best at school. It was a simple stipulation, but one that I respected because it was there to remind me to work hard for the things I wanted in life.
While in college, I took advantage of the abundant array of opportunities on campus. I studied abroad in New Zealand, a goal that I vowed to pursue when I went to college. I spent a semester immersed in a foreign culture, studying courses abroad all the while meeting amazing people along the way. After my trip back, I declared my major in Advertising and went to work as a Marketing Consultant at The Daily Illini newspaper and WPGU student radio station. I gained a great deal of knowledge and work experience through the two entities. In my junior year, I also obtained an internship with University Directories as a Sales Representative, allowing myself to get my foot in the door with a great company. I also took advantage of a plethora of volunteer opportunities where I worked with Habitat for Humanity, tutored refugee children, and helped clean up the community, among many other activities.
After my four years, I obtained a B.S. in Advertising at U of I. I am currently working at Careerbuilder.com as an online sales consultant. I am also looking at pursuing other interests such as furthering my education. My years spent at U of I helped to transform me into the person I am today. The scholarship funded my education, but it was also an investment in me. It was an opportunity that I did not take for granted. As I venture on to chase bigger dreams, I owe part of my success to the ZSF Scholarship and the Mather alumni who invested in me.