Board of Trustees Scholarship Recipient
Vanessa Olandese was originally inspired to attend MCC by her older brother, Mason.
“As one of the youngest of six siblings, I saw all the different ways you could attend school,” Olandese said. “My older brother chose to attend MCC and then go onto a four-year university. I loved the extra time I got to spend with him, and I saw that he could also work while going to school. Instead of going into debt like many of my other siblings, Mason was saving money while attending school. He inspired me to apply for MCC—and after getting a High-Impact Scholarship, I realized it was the perfect fit for me.”
Olandese received the Board of Trustees Scholarship, an award of 60 (in-district) credit hours given to three students each year. The scholarship recipients are chosen based on academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and community involvement. Applicants must be in-district high school graduates, have earned a minimum high school GPA of 3.0, enroll in at least 12 credit hours per semester (fall and spring), and provide two letters of recommendation and a 300–500-word essay on a given topic.
“This scholarship helped relieve plenty of financial stress for me and my family. With this scholarship, my parents can now focus on helping to pay for my twin brothers’ college instead of both of our tuition! I am beyond grateful to attend school without having to worry about how I am going to pay for it. I can focus on my studies and all the extracurricular activities that I love to be a part of.”
Olandese started at MCC in 2020 and plans to graduate in 2022. She is working toward her Associate in Arts degree so she can go on to receive a bachelor’s in business at a four-year university. In addition to her classes, she is also involved in the Student Government Association, Business Club, PTK Honor Society, Environmental Action Club, Pride Club, National Technical Honor Society, and Our Bodies, Ourselves.
“One of my favorite experiences at MCC so far has been joining the Environmental Action Club. I’m grateful for the opportunity to meet like-minded people that care about the environment as I do. The Environmental Action Club gives me the ability to connect with more people and help the planet through our upcoming Earth month celebrations!”
When asked what advice she would give current MCC students, Olandese said, “Take the leap, ask questions, and turn on your camera when you’re in class on Zoom. COVID-19 has affected learning for everyone, and seeing a kind face helps you connect with your fellow students during these tough times.”
Applications for scholarships are due April 1. To view all open scholarships, visit www.mchenry.edu/scholarships.