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Two high school seniors hold signs above their heads with the words, “Princeton University” and “Wellesley College,” respectively. They are onstage announcing their college commitments into a microphone.

Dreams Become Reality for ‘Big Dreams, Will Travel’ Grant Recipients

Last year, GM Financial piloted a community engagement initiative called Big Dreams, Will Travel — a grant that gave high school seniors from the Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) of Fort Worth an opportunity to tour numerous prestigious universities on the East Coast.

To qualify for the grant, students were required to have a 4.0 grade point average, write an essay assignment, submit a resume and complete a set of courses within GM Financial’s KEYS® Literacy Program. Students who satisfy the criteria in the grant application demonstrate a high standard of achievement, academic excellence and embody GM Financial’s Core Values.

The cornerstone of GM Financial’s relationship with YWLA is that students like these represent a key talent demographic, and this grant serves as an investment in their future as scholars, professionals and women in STEM.

Students from last year’s program received acceptances from schools such as Princeton University, Yale University, Wellesley College and New York University. Two of these students announced their commitment to Princeton University and Wellesley College at YWLA’s Senior Signing Day.

Due to the success of the pilot, Big Dreams, Will Travel will continue into its second year. Now, both juniors and seniors will be eligible to apply, making it possible to submit college applications earlier in the admissions process.

“Without this grant, a trip to tour these campuses would have placed a significant financial burden on these students and their families,” said Lynn Hammer, Executive Director for the YWLA Foundation.

“Campus visits and tours are key deciding factors when seniors make college decisions, but a trip across the country is not always financially viable. Big Dreams, Will Travel allowed the students to tour some of their dream schools, gaining experiential knowledge of the universities’ unique culture, atmospheres and traditions,” Lynn said. 

This fall, the incoming group of grant recipients will embark on a journey to world-class institutions on the East Coast. One student at a time, GM Financial’s Big Dreams, Will Travel grant is enabling future leaders to achieve their academic and career aspirations.

Tatum Grubb
By Tatum Grubb, GM Financial

Tatum enjoys writing as a creative outlet and a vessel for information and storytelling. Her constant struggle in the craft is avoiding the use of unnecessary words, such as “loquacious” and “verbose.” You can often find her at a football game in Aggieland, completing an escape room, or scoping out the nearest spot for some decadent cuts of sashimi.

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