Lucy De Souza, MHS Class of ’12
Major: Psychology (with concentration in cultural psychology) and sociology
When you graduated from MHS, were you financially prepared (or did you think you were) for college?
When I was applying to schools, how much I would be paying was definitely a consideration. I knew that school would be expensive and that I would have to look for resources to lessen the burden of debt after graduating.
How did the MSF scholarship help you prepare for college?
I remember worrying about buying books because most students pay out of pocket. The MSF scholarship was a huge help, because I could start my freshman year more able to afford them. Moreover, the scholarship helps decrease my loans, which will be very helpful in the future.
Why did you want a MSF scholarship?
I really liked how the scholarships went to Montclair students specifically. I was eligible and did not want to miss the chance to receive help!
Did you know anything about MSF before you applied for a scholarship?
I only had a vague idea of what MSF before applying. It wasn’t until I began looking into scholarships that I realized how great the opportunity was.
If you could not have afforded college, what other options did you have?
I honestly don’t know what I would have been doing. My family always told me that if I worked hard and took the time to find resources, that going to college would be an option.
Can you describe an important or influencing piece of your college experience?
The opportunities I have at Wesleyan are phenomenal. I’ve had small and intimate classes, professors who are willing to sit with students past their office hours, and the ability to work in research labs. There are also so many activities and clubs to get involved with. I tutor, do a show once a semester, and have even joined my school’s fire performance troupe. College has been incredibly stimulating, both in and outside of the classroom, in the best way.
In addition to the MSF scholarship, what other types of financial aid or support did you use?
This past year, I had a scholarship from Wesleyan, a scholarship from the Adelphic Educational Fund, federal loans, and was on work-study.
I am a student worker for Wesleyan’s Office of Community Service. I am a coordinator of the Woodrow Wilson Tutoring Partnership.
Once you complete your studies (if you have not graduated), what is your plan for the future?
I hope to be accepted into my school’s BA/MA program and obtain a Master’s in psychology a year after I graduate. I’d love to continue doing research in the field.
What would you say to current MHS seniors who seek financial aid?
Take some time out of your day to look for scholarships. I know it’s annoying to have one more thing to do before graduating, but it’s going to help you in the long run. The application process is not as daunting as it may seem. You’ll thank yourself later (especially when you see how expensive books are)!
What do you remember best about being at Montclair High School/Montclair (town)?
I loved being a part of The Center for Social Justice. It was a very formative part of my high school experience. I was given the tools to take on projects independently and was inspired by how brilliant my teachers were. It also put me on the track of majoring in sociology.
Please describe any volunteer/community service during high school?
I was a part of MHS Key Club and did all sorts of community service through it. I was a part of the NJASK Tutoring Program at Glenfield for 3 years.
Please describe any volunteer/community service during college?
I work for Wesleyan’s Office of Community Service and co-coordinate a tutoring program. We have approximately 30 Wesleyan students tutor 7th and 8th grade students at the local middle school throughout the semester.