4Most anyone can remember their senior year of high school, with the future looming before them and decisions being made about schooling or career choices and yet for Julie Sanchez a windfall occurred from one college application. Sanchez shared the fact that she filled out every college application or scholarship form that came her way, but one distant form from the University of Portland was truly done on a whim.

A response from this private Catholic University hit her mailbox within just two weeks, offering her an amazing $72,000 scholarship, without limitations attached. Shocked by the opportunity, it has presented many different feelings and brought about new decisions as to the actual pathway she should take. With a grade point average that is above a 4.0, her opportunities are vast. This Oregon college response was based solely on her academic achievements and nothing more.

“I’m only 17, so I don’t really know what I want to be yet, but the idea of being a social worker appeals to me because I would help people. Even as an educator I could help students and that would be fulfilling. But another side of me wants to work in the field of Astronomy, with a Science degree, because of the exploration and discoveries to be made. It would just be so cool to work with planets and outer space programs. There’s still so much unknown.”

Sanchez works at the Mineral County Library through the collaboration with the “School to Career Program” and one that the library secured through a federal grant. Director Courtney Oberhansli explained that Sanchez is successfully participating in the “Revving up Teen Services” within her library worktime. Sanchez is able to work within the library during school hours, receiving school credit while getting paid and achieving work experience. The library grant she is working under was received from the Library Services and Technical Act.

Sanchez is weighing her decision with the input from teachers and other staff whom she respects, while talking it over with family members as well. Her concerns involve the lengthy distance from home, as well as the $13,000 she would need to raise as her portion. The deep connection she has with her family leads her to believe she would become homesick quickly and may want to drop out, which would waste the scholarship. Making the correct decision for her lifestyle is her main concern, as she realizes her first few years at any college will be concentrating on the core subjects only.

Although Sanchez is facing a weighty college decision, for now, she said, she will continuing to juggle two jobs and apply herself throughout her senior year of high school.