As one of the first members of my family to pursue a bachelor's degree, my family and I struggled searching for schools to apply to. I wanted somewhere that was affordable for my family and me, felt closely-knit like the small town of Montevideo, MN, where I grew up, and provided strong programs in science and music. Many different private schools caught my attention due to their financial aid and smaller size, but Saint Ben's stood out not only due to fitting these criteria, but also for being in a small town location and having Saint John's as a brother campus.
I was first exposed to CSB/SJU through my participation in choral arts. I attended All-State Choir camp and the ACDA Men's and Women's festival at Saint John's; I instantly fell in love with the campus' beautiful arboretum and architecture. Although I visited Saint John's first, I had already begun feeling a strong connection to the Saint Ben's campus through the community I experienced at Saint John's. I had heard so much about the wonderful work the Benedictine Sisters did along with the outstanding academic progress made to encourage women to pursue careers in science that I could not help but want to apply.
After applying to Saint Ben's, I received an offer for the MapCores scholarship, which focuses on women pursuing careers in STEM fields; this was a huge relief to my family as we worried a lot about the struggles of paying for tuition. I took this scholarship opportunity as a sign that this was the college I was meant to go to. I ended up attending Saint Ben's because it felt like the right place for me to go; it feels like home and it makes me feel that I will never fail with the amazing community surrounding me. I am so inspired by my fellow Bennies every day through their hard work and passions; it makes me very thankful that I, too, am part of such a strong group of women.
Currently, I am majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Mathematics. I participate in Women's Choir, Programming Contest, and Robotics, along with helping with events for the Math Department. I also work for the Computer Science Department as a Research Assistant and a Lab Teaching Assistant along with being a Music Librarian at Saint Ben's. I love the experience I am having here at Saint Ben's and will never forget the great opportunities its community has provided to me!
Mackenzie F. '17 | Montevideo, Minn.