Spotlighting Student Scholarships on #GivingTuesday

Two seniors talk about their life ambitions, made possible by College of Agriculture & Natural Resources academic scholarships.

November 25, 2015

For many students in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, scholarships make it possible to pursue their passions and follow their dreams.  That’s why the College of AGNR is joining the rest of the University of Maryland community in spotlighting student scholarships for the national Giving Tuesday campaign – a global day dedicated to giving back.

“With the help scholarships, I am graduating in May with no student loan debt and this is a huge advantage for me when I enter ‘the real world,’” says Environmental Science and Technology major Sofia D’Ambrosio. “Also, I have more time to focus on my studies because I don't have to worry about working crazy hours to pay for my tuition. That extra cushion lets me work when I want and focus on my studies at the same time.”

D’Ambrosio, a Chevy Chase native, recognizes that her undergraduate years would have been very different without the aid of not one, but two scholarships: the Joseph Byrd Foundation scholarship awarding $2,500 per semester and AGNR’s Ecological Technology and Design $750 per semester scholarship.

“Because AGNR is one of the smaller departments at UMD, it really makes the big college small,” D’Ambrosio said. “There's definitely an AGNR family of like-minded students, faculty, and staff who are concerned about the environment, agriculture, and animals, and the best parts have been the friends I've made along the way as well as the professional contacts I have developed.”

Currently, D’Ambrosio, is applying to graduate programs in the hopes of someday studying the effects of climate change on stream and river ecosystems.

Similarly, senior animal science major and recipient of the $500 Bentz Scholarship for Outstanding Juniors, Salvatore Millington, is anxiously awaiting acceptance letters from veterinary schools.

“Like any scholarship, this help does lessen my financial concerns,” Millington said. “However it was also incredibly validating to know that I have been seen and that the extracurricular work I do for and with the College has not gone unnoticed. It is incredibly encouraging.”

However, this Carroll County resident did not simply have an “encouraging” AGNR experience.

“My experience with AGNR has literally been life changing,” Millington explained. “The people I have met and interacted with have [expanded] my views on agriculture so much that I cannot imagine who I would have become without their guidance.”

Hoping to someday work with either large animals or lab animals, Millington initially chose to come to UMD in an effort to grow the state’s agricultural programs. Today, in true giving spirit, Millington hopes to continue to make an impact.

“At this point in life I am looking forward to giving back to our community and helping mold the next group of young leaders,” Millington concluded.

One scholarship can change a student’s life and one student can change the world. Help students like Salvatore and Sofia on Giving Tuesday, December 1st, by making a donation to support College of AGNR scholarships.