The prestigious Truman Scholarship, established by Congress in 1975 to honor the memory of the 33rd president, supports the graduate education and personal development of standout undergraduates committed to public service leadership. Awarded on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability and a strong record of public service, the scholarship requires a detailed policy proposal that addresses a particular societal challenge.
Boston College junior Natalee Deaette of Montgomery, Vermont, a student in the Lynch School of Education, has been named a recipient of a 2018 Harry S. Truman Scholarship, one of just 59 winners nationwide from an applicant pool of 756 candidates. "Receiving the Truman Scholarship is such an honor," said Deaette, who is BC's 19th Truman Scholarship recipient overall. “When I started the application process almost a year ago, it was a pipe dream that I never thought would become a reality. I was the first in my family to go to college and I have had to work incredibly hard to afford it, so the fact that I am now going to receive support to go to graduate school to study what I am passionate about means the world to me. I hope to focus my coursework on finding and developing solutions to the inequitable access to higher education, particularly for the often-overlooked population of rural high school students." A graduate of North Country Union High School in Newport, Deaette distinguished herself both as a participant and staff member at the Upward Bound program at Northern Vermont University in Lyndon, which provides low-income, first-generation Vermont high school students with an opportunity to prepare for collegiate success. "Working with Upward Bound is what ultimately has pushed me to pursue a career in public service," said Deaette, who plans to pursue graduate studies in educational policy and leadership. "I've not only experienced firsthand the difficulties that students with this background face in accessing and completing higher education, but I've also had the privilege of hearing the stories of countless more through my work as a staff member."
This story was originally published in the Winter 2009 NEOA Member Newsletter