The first FVTC Promise scholarship graduate walked the stage.
Redgranite native Olivia Arreola graduated in December 2018 from Fox Valley Technical College with an associate degree in Industrial Welding Technology—something the 19-year-old once thought was nearly impossible. “College was not on my radar until I heard about the Promise scholarship,” she says. “It helped me become the first in my family to graduate from college.”
The FVTC Foundation’s Promise scholarship provides eligible incoming high school students with tuition and books. “Many people told me I was made for engineering, but I couldn’t afford an education,” says Arreola. “Thanks to Fox Valley Tech, I earned a two-year degree without financial stress.”
Arreola first took welding classes at Wautoma High School through its partnership with FVTC. “When I graduated from high school, I already had a semester of college credits,” she states. “It really gave me a head start.”
Arreola worked as a welding engineer intern at Miller Electric while attending college, and she plans to transfer to Ferris State University in Michigan to earn a bachelor’s degree in Welding Engineering Technology. “Olivia exemplifies how the Tech's instructors help people discover their talents, excel academically and prepare for a rewarding career,” says Bruce Albrecht, vice-president of Global Innovation & Technology for Illinois Tool Works - Miller Electric Mfg. Co.
Arreola encourages others to apply for a Promise scholarship as a way to overcome barriers like she did while growing up in a lower-income home. The Promise program allowed Olivia to focus on her studies so much that she finished college with a 3.9 GPA. “I had gone through a rough time and had very little money,” she says. “The scholarship has given me the confidence to receive an education and start my life.”
Learn more about the FVTC Foundation >>