From Doubt to Determination: Samantha Terauds' Journey to Academic Success

03/18/2024
Samantha Terauds
“Without a doubt, I wanted this. But looking back, I didn’t always think I could do it.”
 
As a first-generation student, San Diego native Samantha Terauds wasn’t exposed to the intricacies of college life. Instead, it was her perseverance and personal belief that propelled her to receive the Phi Theta Kappa Hites Scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards for a MiraCosta College student.
 
“I didn’t have a lot of guidance on going to a university right from high school,” shared Samantha. “My family and friends just didn’t have any experience searching for colleges or navigating the application process.”
 
As a result, university life was simply not in her immediate plans as a teenager. Despite being an avid learner with a deep curiosity, Samantha opted to join the local workforce straight out of high school.
 
She occasionally took community college classes at night to keep growing. But even then, it was more for fun. “I took classes in nutrition and kinesiology, but mostly because I was fascinated by those subjects,” noted Samantha.
 
Slowly, those casual courses turned into something more. While maintaining a full-time job, Samantha began pursuing a part-time degree at MiraCosta College. That is, until 2020.
 
One day at work, the doctor she was working for urged her to rethink her approach to higher education. Recognizing Samantha’s potential and thirst for knowledge, he encouraged her to take a break from work and become a full-time student.
 
Taking this advice to heart, Samantha dedicated herself entirely to her studies.
 
“When I decided to go to MiraCosta full-time, I still had to sort through some fear,” explained Samantha. “Even though I knew it was the path I wanted to be on, it was still scary. I had to bet on myself and trust the process.”
 
Eager to make the most of her college experience, Samantha applied for every program and scholarship available at MiraCosta College.
 
Samantha joined the Bridges Program for underrepresented STEM students and found support through the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS). She connected with mentors, counselors, and fellow students who helped shape her journey.
 
The more she immersed herself in all the opportunities at MiraCosta College, the more she thrived.
 
Her efforts paid off when she was accepted into Phi Theta Kappa and then even further when she received the society’s Hites Scholarship. The scholarship supports students preparing to transfer to four-year universities by funding them to take the next step in their academic journey.
 
Today, Samantha’s dreams are within closer reach. This fall, Samantha will follow her passion for science and medicine at California State University, San Marcos where she will complete her bachelor’s in kinesiology.
 
Looking back, Samantha acknowledges that she never imagined she would be where she is now. The lack of financial support and guidance initially made her question her abilities, but she gradually overcame imposter syndrome and realized she had what it takes to succeed. The Hites Scholarship is just further validation of all her hard work.
 
As Samantha explains, the sense of community she found at MiraCosta College, particularly through the Bridges Program, played a pivotal role in her personal and academic growth.
 

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