Flinn Scholars speak of the ‘life-changing opportunity’ that awaits future Scholars

April 3, 2019

By Matt Ellsworth

Flinn Foundation: What might candidates for the Flinn Scholarship miss that’s important for them to understand about the Flinn Scholars Program?

Ruby Kerwin: The Flinn Scholarship provides you with flexibility. The opportunities available at the universities and with Flinn make it possible to explore different fields and majors. The travel funding provides you with the chance to design your own study-abroad experience. The financial flexibility of the Flinn Scholarship allows you to pursue internships, volunteer experiences, and opportunities after college without having to worry about debt.

Alexa Nguyen: The Flinn Scholars Program is a life-changing opportunity. I think students applying for the Scholarship can logically appreciate the monetary benefit—having your entire undergraduate experience paid for and coming out of college debt-free is certainly an enormous incentive—not to mention other benefits, like study abroad opportunities and a community of Scholars and alumni to support you. I certainly recognized those perks, but I don’t think I truly came to appreciate them until now as I approach graduation. Your undergraduate experience is what you make of it, and staying in-state and attending a large public institution can put you in better footing for the future than say attending an Ivy League school. Sure, with those schools you get the “brand name” and experiences unique to those universities, but your undergraduate experience would be filled with competition to stand out. Because of the opportunities presented to me by taking the Flinn Scholarship and attending UA, I began working in research early; I attended a conference; I traveled the world; I got involved in the community; I won awards; and I had a fulfilling undergraduate experience. I will graduate with a strong resume, and I am free to pursue whatever I want for the future without the worry of paying back debts from my time as an undergrad. So, consider your goals for the future, and even if those aren’t clear to you now or might change with time, know that the Flinn Scholarship will support you and put you in a great position to do well with whatever you choose to pursue.

Ben Trumpinski: I always have lots of advice to give to potential Flinns, but the overarching theme in every conversation is do something and be passionate about it.  In reality, it doesn’t matter what exactly you do, what your political views are, or where exactly you do it.  What matters (to Flinn and in life) is that you have passions and are using them to make a difference.  If you’re doing something because it will “boost your resume” or “look better to interviewers” you really won’t go far in the Flinn process.  If you are not doing anything in your community, get involved.  And if you’re already involved, be passionate and put your all into it.  It’s your community, your life, your time.  Go out and make a difference in something you care about. And don’t forget to have fun and make friends along the way

Learn more about Flinn Scholars Ruby Kerwin, Alexa Nguyen, and Ben Trumpinski.