Transforming pessimism into motivation to succeed

group shot of school club

India is a highly populated country of more than 1.27 billion, where you could easily be swallowed up and spit out in seconds. It is a cut-throat economy where only the best of the best can come out. Living in such a country gave me the willpower to push through difficult situations. I have always been the one to prove pessimists wrong. I believe that there is always a way through the toughest of situations. An optimist by nature, I tend to push through struggles no matter what and am very passionate about my beliefs. So, when I was faced with pessimists telling me that studying in America was an impossible dream, I worked hard to prove them wrong.

I think my grandparents were one of the few who supported me from the start. They always motivated me to chase my dreams instead of following what others wanted for me. My grandfather had been bedridden due to an accident that had left him paralyzed for the latter part of his life, but had the sheer determination and willpower to overcome the odds and survived for fifteen more years. I have learned to keep my head up through the worst of situations and keep pushing forward because of him.Claudia Prince

While my classmates were busy planning their careers, I was just aimlessly going through high school. However, that changed during my second year of high school. We were learning how to program for the first time; while many of my classmates were not happy about the pages of code they would have to key in, I found it interesting. I was fascinated, how a couple of symbols and words put together could turn into beautiful pages filled with colors and animations. It was an enigma that I needed to solve. Suddenly learning about programming gave me a goal.

I want to make a difference in the computer field. To shine among the many engineers, I knew that I had to have a strong foundation. This sealed my decision to come to America for my higher education. Of course, coming to America wasn’t an easy task. I had to juggle high school, SAT classes, and TOFEL classes. Losing both my grandparents within a year also greatly affected me. However, I knew I had to keep moving forward. The pessimists were always there waiting for me to mess up so they could say I told you so, but I always stayed optimistic.

Now, here I am in U.S. currently getting my associates from Murray State College. Life is too short, and I wanted to try my hand at everything while I had the chance. I joined the Science Outreach program to help educate young minds, about not only general science, but also astronomy. Outside of campus, I volunteer at the Ardmore Soup Kitchen and the Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma. I have also worked hard and maintained a 4.0 GPA. I also serve as the Vice President of Services for Phi Theta Kappa.

Receiving the Pearson scholarship showed me that hard work always pays off. Winning the scholarship made me aware of the great potential I have. I have also motivated students to apply for scholarships. Unlike other scholarships the Pearson scholarship financially supports me when I transfer to a four-year college baccalaureate degree program. The program has also provided me with a mentor. The generosity of the foundation allows me to pursue my dream of becoming a software developer. This scholarship shows me that with hard work I can achieve anything. Now I am one step closer to studying at my dream school — Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Pearson Scholarship helps pay for tuition and provides books. The scholarship also offers me a friend who is a role model and a huge support system. I am matched with Ms. Carol Chin, an insightful and bright person, as my mentor. Ms. Chin gives advice, helps me with papers, and motivates me to think outside the box. She has also unknowingly helped me have new and bigger goals.

Claudia is a recipient of the 2016 Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education. Each Pearson Scholar is paired with a Pearson professional mentor who provides support as Scholars progress toward degree completion. We are incredibly proud of all the Pearson Scholars. Please check back as we continue to highlight each scholar’s story!