Growing up in a single-parent home in West Concord, Minnesota—a rural town of about 700—Annemarie Eayrs ’17 considered Carleton a world away from what her life would look like post high school. But thanks to the Malcolm J. Nelson Endowed Scholarship Fund, that world opened up to her.
“It felt like home,” she says, immediately happy with her new place in life at Carleton. Along her journey toward graduation, she formed a close-knit group of friends, sang in choirs, gave archery a try, and found a new love of dance through the student group Ebony (now called Synchrony).
“I’ve had a lot of growth academic-wise, but also awareness-wise,” Eayrs says. “The learning I’ve done outside of the classroom I may carry with me even more than the academics.”
As Carleton became part of Eayrs’s world, it offered her access to an even wider world, one she says was also once unimaginable. She studied abroad in Ireland, learned to speak Chinese, and fell in love with Asian-American literature as she worked her way through an English major. She also completed two internships, one with Coffee House Press and another with Environment Minnesota. She credits Carleton for both—the advice of her English professors helped her write a strong application essay to Coffeehouse, and the confidence she’d found on campus gave her the willingness to try something completely out of her realm.
When she leaves campus in May, Eayrs hopes to begin having a positive impact on the larger world around her. She plans to work in publishing and is particularly interested in giving voice to writers not traditionally well-represented in the literary world. “This is more important now than ever,” she says.
She believes many of her fellow classmates will also impact the world, and this is why financial aid is so important to her. “Scholarships and grants ensure everyone—including people from single-parent homes, people of color, people of lower socioeconomic means, people from across the country—can come here and then go out and make a change,” she says. “The significance of financial aid is much larger than our campus and our experiences here—it’s really about getting people to impact the world.”