Maria Palaco, a student from Mexico City, is the winner of the “Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship. Maria is studying engineering physics at Stanford University but is also passionate about painting and using her creativity to depict science in new ways. Maria uses art as her medium to show the beauty of science, and she has published paintings in the Flamantes International Artbook. Additionally, Maria’s paintings have been used as covers for Intersect Magazine and Probe Magazine. Maria was also a finalist in the Stanford Art of Science Competition in 2020 with two paintings on X-rays and electromagnetic radiation. She draws inspiration from her father and wants to challenge gender stereotypes in STEM. She wishes to be a role model for other girls, particularly girls from her home country of Mexico where the proportion of female researchers is particularly low. After graduating, Maria hopes to create a program to encourage female high school students to pursue careers in STEM and to support them throughout their education.
1. What drew you to study Engineering Physics?
As a child, I used to watch documentaries about the universe with my dad. I remember thinking how cool it would be to understand how the world works, so i started reading books about it just for fun. Eventually, I realized that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to study the laws that govern our world and use them to solve important challenges that society faces.
2. How did you hear about Bold.org?
A Stanford student recommended Bold.org to me. She and I are both in a Physics club and she was talking about this site in one of our meetings.
3. How will winning this scholarship help you achieve your goals?
This scholarship will help me pay for college. Thanks to it, I can continue my studies and use this knowledge to contribute to meaningful problems.
4. How do you feel that the scholarship has helped you so far?
This scholarship has lifted a great burden from my family's shoulders. The pandemic brought many uncertainties and stress with it, but winning this scholarship gave us a reason to worry less.
5. What does your scholarship mean to you?
To me, winning a scholarship means there are people out there who believe in my potential and in what I can accomplish. I am extremely thankful to all the people who have supported me. I hope to be able to get there soon so that they can see that they were not wrong.
6. What is the most important factor in applying for a scholarship?
Taking the time to do your research.
7. What do you know now about scholarships that you had wished you’d known then?
When I was admitted to college, I started applying to many scholarships but I soon realized that almost all of them were exclusive for US citizens. I wish I had known about sites like Bold.org that offer scholarships to everyone studying in the US, both citizens and international students.
8. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to fellow students applying for scholarships?
Give it a try! Show who you really are and don't get discouraged by your grades, they don't matter that much! Everyone should be able to get the same help.
9. What are you most excited about for this upcoming year?
I can't wait to have in-person classes again. I have been really waiting to come back to campus, see my friends, and continue contributing to the clubs I belong to.
10. What are your plans for the next 5 years?
I either want to work at a clean energy startup or take part in a program that empowers high school girls to pursue careers in STEM.
Bold.org is dedicated to helping students like Maria reduce or eliminate their need for student loans. Bold.org provides hundreds of exclusive scholarships to students all over the country and is free of charge to both students and donors. Any company, organization, or individual can easily create scholarships on Bold.org, and scholarships are matched with students who are good fits, creating a unique scholarship experience that helps applicants find the perfect scholarship opportunities. As the student debt crisis continues to grow, scholarships are more important than ever in making higher education accessible for all people. You can get started with your scholarship search by creating your free profile today!