Plansoen Scholar Update: Maria Fernandez

An Update from Plansoen Scholar Maria Fernandez:


Dear FPC congregation,

I would like to start by thanking everyone that made this opportunity possible for students like myself. This scholarship has truly been a blessing not only for myself but to my family. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to meet amazing people like Don and Meg who every Wednesday evenings would invite me for dinner to the church. They have truly been extremely caring and helpful. Always checking in with me and encouraging me to keep moving forward and trusting God’s plans because I strongly believe that God’s plans have a purpose and they are perfect. Regarding fall semester 2022, it was an exciting semester. I took a sociology class (SOAN 320) and I was able to do a research project regarding the undocumented community but more specifically undocumented students at Lake Forest College. This was challenging to do because there were times in which I doubted myself if I was capable of doing such a project. But thankfully with the support of peers, my professor and staff members from the college I was able to continue and successfully finish my research project. Due to this research project I wanted to create more resources at Lake Forest College for undocumented students, so I reached out to an Associate Director from the office of Intercultural Relations at Lake Forest College. They helped me to create a scholarship, giving the opportunity to undocumented students to work on campus, earn a learning experience, and money that would help them pay for tuition. Now, I’m excited for Spring 2023 because it is my graduation year! I am the first generation in my family going to college and I’ll be graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree majoring in Sociology and Anthropology and a minor in Business. This is something that four years ago I didn’t think was possible but I’m so thankful for all the support I have received the past four years of my life making my American Dream possible. I thank God for His faithfulness and turning His face towards me and giving me of His grace. After graduation, I hope to work in an environment in which I’m able to interact with students and help them with resources as a coach/mentor since my passion has always been to help my community. Lastly, thank you so much to the Plansoen Family Scholarship for blessing me with the opportunity to continue pursuing higher education and believing in me.

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