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When I was a junior in high school, I found myself struggling both academically and personally, and wasn’t sure what would come next. As a vocational high school student, I turned my focus to biotechnology, and ultimately, spent my time in high school learning how to become a lab technician. During my senior year, I found out I was a recipient of the Rensselaer Medal, a scholarship to attend Rensselaer! Now, I will be the first in my family to graduate from a university. I hope you will consider supporting students like me by making a gift to the Parents Annual Fund today.

Before I heard about the Rensselaer Medal, I hadn’t even heard of Rensselaer (or how to even pronounce it!). Regardless, this award fueled me with incredible motivation. Despite being a lot further behind academically than my peers, I began my time at Rensselaer working as hard as I possibly could, keeping the door open for future opportunities and possibilities.

As an Environmental Science major, my courses have been challenging, to say the least. Not only is the pacing very quick, but the content goes into very fine details as well. As someone who entered Rensselaer without the same educational opportunities or experience as others, this was very challenging for me! During my first semester, I questioned why I hadn’t gone to a different school. But then, I realized something: I didn’t want the easy way out.

I wanted to work, to truly earn my keep, and to know that I earned every grade I received. Rensselaer’s course content is far more challenging and rigorous than many of the other universities I applied and got accepted to, but there are so many more benefits of choosing Rensselaer over other schools.

Without the support of our community, I would not be able to attend Rensselaer. Donors like you make our dreams a reality. It is through your generosity that students like me have the opportunity and privilege of attending a fantastic school.

Ahlyia Leclerc ’24
Environmental Science major
Methuen, MA

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