For Elizabeth Paul, growing up in a low-income family has translated into a lot of determination. “I saw my parents always working so hard. It was one of those things where they didn’t have college educations to rely on. Growing up, my mom would say to me, ‘you can achieve so much,’ and she encouraged me to go to college and graduate,” Paul said.

When Paul was a young teenager, she moved across the country from rural Texas to Minnesota with her mom and sister. “We lived with a very low income, so in high school, I knew I needed to put in the work to get to college.”

The Meslow First Generation Scholarship has helped her be able to attend Bethel University, where she is well known for her leadership roles on campus. She currently serves as a senator with Bethel’s student government, meets with prospective students through the admissions office and participates in Bethel’s model United Nations club.

In the classroom, Paul is busy earning her degree and pursuing her passions, which is evidenced by her minors in business, history and psychology. She started as a business major and soon shifted to political science. “Bethel has a major that brings both of those areas together. That works perfectly for me, because it allows me to serve others and do something I enjoy,” Paul said. After graduation, she aims to pursue a career in public administration.

“Without the hope this scholarship provides, I wouldn’t be at a college where I can change things for myself by growing, meeting people and having the opportunities I want to participate in while pursuing my education.”