More than a decade ago, as part of ACT’s 50th anniversary celebration, ACT established the ACT Scholars Program, as part of a pair of endowments to nurture the academic talent of graduate and community college students at the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College. These two institutions share ACT’s passion for helping all students achieve their ambitions in college and their careers. ACT emphasized scholarships for students from populations for which the cost of higher education could have presented a significant barrier to college access and accomplishments.
We will feature ACT Scholar blogs regularly, to hear their stories and learn about their college-going journeys. Learn more about the ACT Scholar program.
What was your motivation for going to college and earning a degree?
My main source of motivation was knowing I could become the role model I have always wanted. Growing up, I had mainly male science teachers so I thought that I wasn’t fit to go into the science field, even though I enjoyed it. As I got into more advanced classes in high school, I ended up being the only person of color and I always felt like my achievements were being compared to everyone else’s. I slowly began to appreciate my differences and it made me want to work harder to pursue my dream.
What are you currently studying? What degree will you earn? I am currently finishing up my Associate of Science degree in Liberal Arts. I plan to transfer to Iowa State University where I will major in Animal Science, then plan to apply to the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Who inspired or supported you in your college-going journey? My main source of support is from my grandmother and mother. My grandmother never went to college and always encouraged me to follow my interests. My mother had a dream of becoming a veterinarian but couldn’t because she had to support my brother and me as a single mom. I am grateful for them both and appreciate all the sacrifices they have made to support me and what I want to do.
What advice would you give to a college student today?
My main source of advice is to get to know your professors. I struggled in school during the pandemic but I had one amazing professor who helped me tremendously. With her help, I was able to bring my grade up in her class. Communicate with your professors when things are getting difficult for you. Most of them are very understanding and will work with you during hard times.
What goals have you set for yourself?
My goals for myself are to hopefully get a part-time job at a veterinary clinic to give me more experience being around animals. I also want to have an opportunity to complete an internship this summer.
Anissa Daniel grew up in Marion, Iowa in a single-parent household. She is pursuing an Associate of Science degree in Liberal Arts at Kirkwood Community College and plans to transfer to Iowa State University. She has been interested in science from a young age and plans to follow her dream of becoming a veterinarian.