Nicole Holubec has found a home at Illinois State University. The freshman is already a double major in psychology and social work and minoring in women and gender studies. After completing her first semester, Holubec was stressed out and didn’t know if she could continue her time here. Having to find a job, getting adapted to the college lifestyle, and being away from her family took a toll on her. Thanks to the scholarship support she received upon coming to Illinois State, Holubec has been able to join the social sorority Tri Sigma and to become a member of ISU Leads, Leaders of Social Change, and Alpha Phi Omega, a leadership fraternity.

Holubec’s greatest experience since beginning at the University was attending the Leaders of Social Change trip to Memphis, Tennessee. There she was taught about what diversity means in a Southern state and the history that has shaped the United States. “The trip really helped me embrace diversity,” said Holubec. “I saw things like the Underground Railroad, which most people never get the chance to see outside of a textbook. Everyone should be a part of a group like that—learning about history and changing the norms of society.”

In high school, Holubec was very career driven. College was not a guaranteed decision for her because of the expense. “A lot of people stop themselves from going to college because of the whole money aspect,” says Holubec. “I almost didn’t go to college, I was going to take a year off and work. I have friends that didn’t go to college after high school. The whole financial aspect stops them. They had aspirations and goals that were put aside because of money.”

Now that she is here, Holubec couldn’t have made a better decision. As a child of a single parent, Holubec’s goal moving forward is to help future students that grow up facing similar challenges. “I am not sure if that is a type of high school teacher or another job out there. But I know I want a spot in society helping kids through life and family problems.”

Students at Illinois State University come from all backgrounds and have taken many different paths to get where they are today. Scholarships can open doors for students they didn’t know existed to lead them to their future careers. To encourage students at Illinois State like Nicole Holubec, please visit