When my father was diagnosed with ALS, my family struggled to make ends meet and could not afford to pay for college tuition. As a first-generation, hard-working student, I suddenly found myself lacking the social and financial support to pursue an education beyond high school.
To fund my education, I applied to a number of award programs and eventually landed several grants, including the Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Fellowship and a National Science Foundation grant.
Combined, these awards allowed me to attend and graduate from Colorado College in 1998 with less than $10,000 in student loans. Through help from my then employers I later received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
My story probably sounds familiar — unfortunately, my situation is not unique. Through no fault of their own, countless students face similar situations. Understanding how difficult it is for students to find and apply for funding opportunities, I wanted to help solve this problem by launching my own company.
With generous support, I launched my company in 2017 to return the favor. Kaleidoscope, our Minneapolis-based company, offers a platform where students can identify and apply for scholarships, grants, and other award opportunities.