Auburn, Alabama, is a long way from Hilary Rizk’s hometown of Strongsville, Ohio, but it has quickly become her second home. And the senior majoring in wildlife sciences with a pre-vet concentration counts the students and faculty in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences as her second family. “It is a close group of people who go to great lengths to help each other reach their potential,” Rizk said.
The ability to become involved in extracurricular activities like SFWS Ambassadors and Study Partners, as well as participating in an undergraduate research program, have also led to Rizk’s successful undergraduate career – activities she notes would not be possible without the benefit of receiving academic scholarships.
“My scholarship has given me freedom from financial obligations that allowed me to attend the school of my dreams, concentrate on my classes, and enrich my experience through extracurricular activities,” she said. “This scholarship is significantly decreasing the amount of debt that I will have upon graduation, which will greatly improve my financial status when I get my first job.” Something that is becoming even more important as Rizk looks beyond her undergraduate years and prepares to attend vet school is knowing she won’t have to enter professional school carrying the burden of a large amount of debt. “My scholarship really has given me freedom,” she said. “Freedom to pursue my dreams and the confidence in knowing people believe I can succeed.”