Check out this student success story from the NIU Foundation’s Christina Pilling!
From a young age, Audrey Pearson loved the challenge and mystery of science. Says Audrey, “It’s amazing to think that something you can barely see can have macroscopic effects.” In high school, Audrey’s path became clear after she participated in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a program designed to interest high school students in engineering, science, and technology.
Audrey began her college career at Rock Valley Community College where she discovered another passion—mathematics. “I found that after taking trigonometry, calculus and linear algebra, I was hooked on mathematics! Now I have two academic loves propelling me toward the idea of becoming a professor of mathematics and possibly engineering.”
Now at Northern, double majoring in mathematics and engineering, Audrey is pursuing her dream to earn PhDs in her chosen fields. Scholarships, like the Clarence Ethel Hardgrove Endowed Mathematics Scholarship, have allowed Audrey to continue her education while also helping to relieve her family’s financial burden. Audrey shared, “The scholarships I have received from NIU permit me to study my two loves, mathematics and engineering. Without these funds, I may have had to delay my education.”
With the generosity of NIU’s donors in mind, Audrey is making the most of her opportunities at NIU. This semester she will start her internship at the Joint Institute of Engineering and Technology/Aviation (JIET-A), an affiliate of Aerospace Systems. She also plans to tackle a full course load while continuing to maintain her 4.0 GPA.
Looking to the future, Audrey is keeping in mind the day when she will be in a position to start a scholarship fund of her own. “I believe education should not be limited to the classroom nor to the student; what a student learns must be taken with him or her to transform the corner of the world in which he or she has the most influence. That philosophy is one of the reasons I enjoy giving back.”