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Your Support Makes a Difference


The generosity of Oberlin alumni changed the course of Matt's life. He shared with us his story.

Like many high school seniors thinking about college, I wanted to leave home and prove my independence. The summer before, I had learned about Oberlin and realized it was the place for me. The cost, however, made attendance look unlikely, and so I considered schools closer to home.

Then one of my guidance counselors recommended me for Posse, a program that seeks highly motivated, high-achieving students who might otherwise be overlooked. The first interview for the program was daunting: 75-100 students trying to prove they were the best candidates for Posse partner schools, which are top-tier liberal arts colleges. Six months and two more rounds of interviews and my dreams came true with a full-tuition scholarship to Oberlin.

I arrived intending to study neuroscience, but a class with Michael Fisher opened my eyes to the richness of history, the intersection of class, gender, race, and politics, and how all of that has shaped the world we live in today. Because of Professor Fisher’s openness, his strength as a mentor, and his passion for the subject, at the beginning of my sophomore year I declared a history major.

Along the way, Oberlin alumni have made my journey possible. Whether through the Posse program or the 1835 Fund helping purchase my plane tickets for winter term, your generosity bridged the distance between my dreams as a Chicago public school student and the reality of my post-Oberlin dedication to helping others succeed.

Your support did that for me and it’s not too late to make a gift for 2014