Scholarships will help graduate go to college
When Dorina Fredrickson was little, she played store and dreamed about being a cashier.
As she grew up, her goals did, too.
Now 17, Fredrickson has received four scholarships to help her attend DeVry University in Westminster to study finance.
“I always wanted to do something in business,” she said. “I think being a loan officer would be fun and be a good job for me.”
In her last semester as a student at Moffat County High School, Fredrickson wrote 15 essays and cover letters applying for local and national scholarships to help pay her way through college.
The day she graduated, she got a call from the Yampa Masonic Lodge No. 88 A.F. & A.M. letting her know she had received a $1,000 scholarship from the Masons to attend a college in Colorado.
“I was just so excited,” she said. “I was not expecting it, and it was the biggest one I got.”
Dan Bingham, of the local Masonic lodge, said the group looks for students’ potential beyond graduation.
“Are they going to come back to Craig, and are they going to give back to the community?” he said. “Between her needs and her performance in school, we thought Dorina would be a great investment for the community. She is just a really hard-working girl.”
Fredrickson has lived in Craig her whole life. Three to four times a week, she rides horses at her boyfriend Clay Foulk’s stable.
For the past two years, she has been working at Country Living Real Estate for her sister.
But, come August, she will move to the big city.
“I’m scared, nervous and excited,” she said. “I mean, it’s Denver. It’s always on the news. My friend told me this story about how she was taking the bus, and her bus crashed. She had to walk 20 miles with some guy following her. I was thinking, ‘That is totally the kind of thing that will happen to me when I’m there.'”
Her mother also has some reservations about her youngest child moving away.
“She asked me if I was taking my bed with me,” Fredrickson said. “I said, ‘Of course I am.’ And she said, ‘What am I going to do when I walk into your room and it’s not there?’ But she is really glad that I’m going to get my education.”
But Fredrickson will put her qualms with moving to the Front Range aside. She’ll spend almost three years in a bachelor’s program that will have her in class year-round, because she doesn’t want to be in school for long.
She chose an accelerated program because she’s anxious to get her career started.
Two weeks ago, she began her first online classes, which require reading and posting to online forums.
“I wake up early, usually, and read a few chapters,” she said. “Then I go to work, and after, I do the assignments.”
She said there are strict regulations preventing her from getting full marks unless she participates in the class several times per day.
But Fredrickson’s motivation is propelling her straight for her degree.
“I really want to do well and graduate with honors,” she said. “I really want it bad, and I’ve never really had doubts about what I want to do.”
Looking to the future
Although she will get her education on the Front Range, Fredrickson hopes to return to Craig after she graduates.
“I hopefully will get a job out of school,” she said. “DeVry has a really high rate of people getting jobs within six months of graduating, and I want to be a part of that percentage.”
She said she wants to return to her family and her boyfriend and to get a job as a loan officer with a bank.
One day, she said, she wants to open her own business in Craig.
“It depends on how much I like Denver, but I know I love Craig,” she said. “It’s my home. I like how people wave at each other and hold doors open.”
Despite the transition into college, moving away from her family and friends and fears about life in the big city, Fredrickson is feeling nothing but excitement about her future.
With the help of scholarships from the Yampa Valley Golf Course, Colorado First Conservation Group and the Craig Association of Realtors, she now is well on her way to meeting the goals she formed while playing “store” and going through the Moffat County School District.
“I try to think about where I’m going and not the things that get in my way,” she said. “I know when I get there, I’ll be happy with all I’ve done, and that keeps me pushing.”
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