Scholars Speak: Guest Blog by Forman Scholar Sierra Brown

Sierra Brown shares her thoughts to our Scholars Speak student blog series. Sierra is a junior at Stockton University, where she is majoring in psychology. 

Read on to hear about Sierra’s experiences overcoming adversity, the advice she has for applying to college and even some tips on what class times to register for. 

What does pursuing a college degree mean to you?  

Pursuing a higher education means everything to me. Ever since I was young, my family instilled in me the importance of college to my future success and stability. Earning a college degree is the next step along my path to creating a prosperous future for myself and my loved ones. 

What’s something you didn’t know during your first year in college that you wish you knew?  

To be honest, don’t register for 8:30 AM classes every day of the week. College is not the same as high school; you will quickly burn out if you’re not careful. 

What is your most memorable academic moment from your time in college? 

I’ve learned to always keep going and keep pushing, no matter the obstacle. It’s always more difficult to dig yourself out of a hole once you’re under. 

Tell us a time when you overcame a challenge. 

I was in a car accident last February, and I had to miss two weeks of school. Once I was well enough to return, I found it was difficult to readjust to my routine. I couldn’t focus, and I felt drained each day getting back into the swing of things. I eventually realized that I had to pick myself up and carry on because no one else was going to do it for me. Overall, I learned a lot about perseverance and self-accountability. 

For people who may not know about the Foundation, what role has the Foundation played in your educational journey?  

The Foundation has played a pivotal role in my education, not only financially but personally as well. The Foundation’s staff has been so supportive of my overall well-being, and I know that if I ever needed anything they would help without question. 

As someone who grew up in either Salem or the Salem area, how has your community shaped your upbringing, and what do you think is needed to ensure the best future for Salem? 

Growing up in Salem made me strive for opportunities outside of my isolated community. My college experience has provided me with those opportunities, but others in Salem are not as lucky. I believe the people of Salem need more opportunities because, without them, there will be little chance for improvement.  

If you had to give one piece of advice to a student who is applying for college, what would it be and why?  

Choose a school that will work for you; don’t just choose a school because other people want you to attend. Basing your choice on the opinion of others will never allow you to be 100% invested in your education.