A few years ago, The New York Times defined Generation Z (those born between 1995 and 2005) as “conscientious, hardworking, … and mindful of the future.”
Hayley Billiot, the September 2017 winner of the Nitro College Scholarship exemplifies all of those qualities.
Many interests, but a focus on academics
“This scholarship will help me focus on just my classes,” says the Frontier Academy senior.
That will be a big change for Hayley, who stays active in both her school and city communities. When she’s not in class, Hayley participates in drama at school. She likes to both act and build sets. She starred as the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland earlier this year and had just finished up auditions for Shrek the Musical when we spoke in January 2018. She’s also swims with the school’s team.
Outside of school, Hayley is a lifeguard. She works year-round for the city of Greeley, Colorado. During those cold winters, you can find her watching over swimmers at the Family FunPlex, an indoor pool and waterpark complex, as well as at the Greeley Recreation Center. In the summers, she lifeguards at a number of different outdoor city pools.
And when she’s got free time, Hayley draws. “It’s really one of my favorite things to,” she says of the hobby.
Hunting for college funding
For Hayley, finding the time to apply for scholarships was tough. But she was determined to see the process through.
“I probably applied for between 15 and 20 scholarships,” she explains. “When I found myself with chunks of time, like over Christmas break, I’d write the essays.”
Hayley didn’t go it alone, though. One of the counselors at Frontier Academy let her know about the Nitro Scholarship. “Our counselor emails the entire senior class with lists of scholarships.”
She also relied on scholarship search engines to help her find ways to finance college. “They’re so easy and really helpful,” Hayley explains. “You put in whatever degree you might be interested in or who you are as a person and they tell you what scholarships are right for you.”
See Nitro’s new Scholarships for College Students page.
Making a big life decision
In the fall, Hayley is headed to Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She’s narrowed down her possible majors to either Art or Psychology. At this point she’s leaning toward Psychology and already has some plans to get her master’s degree. But she’s willing to keep an open mind along the way.
For Hayley, deciding on where to go to school was the hardest part of the application process. She used the Common App which she says made the actual application part a breeze. But she struggled with deciding how far from home to go and whether or not to go to an art school.
Fort Collins finally won out because it is fairly close to home, she had friends that already attend, and it’s got both degrees she’s interested in pursuing. The town itself has an artsy vibe. Hayley feels like she’ll fit right into that community.
Hayley’s already making plans to make her college experience the best she can. She set three goals for next year. The first is to keep swimming on her own time to stay in shape and to manage stress. The second is to keep up with her classes. The third is to not make too many commitments and experience things as they come.
“My high school is small and close-knit. I’m excited to meet a wide variety of people and to switch it up a little,” Hayley explains.
With that attitude and your can-do spirit, we know you’ve got a great journey ahead, Hayley!
If you're, looking for college money. be sure to apply for our next Nitro College Scholarship. There’s no essay— just three short-answer questions. And recommend your friends apply, too.