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QuestGiving: Part One

Shelby, a current QuestBridge Scholar, shares her journey as a "Questie" and shares a beloved Carleton QuestBridge tradition of "QuestGiving"

Shelby, a current QuestBridge Scholar, shares her journey as a "Questie" and shares a beloved Carleton QuestBridge tradition of "QuestGiving"

Hi! My name is Shelby Jones, Carleton College class of 2019. I’m an undecided major and a QuestBridge Scholar from Tennessee. Here’s me:

Shelby Jones '19

Before QuestBridge, I always worried about where I would go to college, based on which school I could afford. Money was a constant concern for me and my family and I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to afford to go to college. Then I found out about QuestBridge. QuestBridge was a true life saver. It opened my eyes to unique and amazing schools across the country, some of which I never would have heard of without QuestBridge.

When I got to Carleton, I was afraid that there wouldn’t be many low income students like myself, that there wouldn’t be a group of kids who understood what it was like to go through college with not much money. But this is not what I found at Carleton. It took a few terms of getting situated, but when Daniel Tamez, our current liaison, took over the chapter, I really began to feel this sense of community that I was looking for.

I feel so important and understood with my QuestBridge family. Sure, my other friends know a little about some of the struggles we face. But it’s my fellow Questies who truly understand why I have to work 2 jobs to get by. It’s them who get why I can’t go on cool and exciting Spring Break trips or why I choose to eat in the dining hall instead of eating in town with them. All my life, I’ve always felt kind of out of place because of my financial background. After applying for the QuestBridge National Scholars Match, and then attending Carleton and remaining active in our chapter, I finally feel that I fit in with a group of people who have faced some of the same challenges that I have, and it’s a truly wonderful feeling.

This year’s QuestGiving was such an important event for our chapter. All term, we have been trying to hold one event each week so that the Freshman Questies would feel the same sense of community that the upperclassmen had. QuestGiving was our chance to cook some really great food (and get a break from dining hall food!), relieve some stress before finals, and bond as a chapter. We expected a fairly large turnout, but the amount of people who came far surpassed our expectations, and the QuestBridge Board was thrilled. All of the seats were filled and food ran out quickly. But amazing conversations were had, and I think everyone had a great time. We were even able to get some support from faculty, including Dean Livingston who sent us a turkey, and Holly from Admissions, who was actually able to come to the event to help us cook and to get to know our chapter. The night was such a success and I am so happy that we were able to have such a great event for our chapter.

I only see our chapter getting bigger and stronger. There currently isn’t a ton of awareness of QuestBridge or low income students on campus. But Daniel, the rest of board, and I are working tirelessly to spread awareness of our chapter and what it’s like to be a low income student at Carleton. As for now I am so thankful to have such a supportive and understanding community of students, faculty, and staff and to be a part of such a meaningful organization as QuestBridge.

Shelby Jones ’19
Vice President/Publicity Chair


PS Here’s a picture of some of us at QuestGiving:

Can’t get enough of QuestGiving? Read on to Questgiving: Part Two!. Learn more about QuestBridge at Carleton.