Bringing Service into Education
Natalie Escalante of Toronto, Canada, is a student in the paralegal program at Ensign College. She also works on campus in the Scholarship Office assisting students with financial aid and scholarship applications. Through her experiences working with her peers at the college, Natalie has seen the impact that service can have on others and has felt the blessings of service in her own life.
“Ensign College is teaching me that I can render better service as I become more educated,” says Natalie. “Education provides me the opportunity to collaborate with others and do more when it comes to service. I had a hard time finishing high school and felt alone, but Ensign College has given me a community that has made me realize I can enjoy school again. It’s nice to feel like your professors and peers care about you.”
While applying for the President Ballard Service and Leadership Scholarship—a scholarship that she was later awarded—Natalie reflected on the service she has been able to give in her life. She wrote: “Before college, I was a seminary teacher and had a calling in Young Women in my ward. I also served a mission, which was the reason I had heard about Ensign College and became interested in attending. Now I’m here taking classes and have help paying for tuition because of the service of someone else.”
As Natalie has worked with her peers at the college, she has seen the impact service can have on others, particularly international students. “Through my work in the Scholarship Office, I’ve seen many international students work so hard to get to Ensign College,” she says. “There’s so much to pay for, with extra costs, while also keeping grades up; it’s an added pressure domestic students don’t have to worry about. So it’s a big deal to any international student who receives a scholarship. Some are first-generation college students and others don’t have a lot of support from home. They’re trying to create a better life for themselves and their families, and it’s made possible by scholarships.”
Feeling blessed to not only help students receive service but be the one given service, Natalie is grateful for her experiences and the financial assistance her scholarship provides. She says, “The scholarship is a blessing from God. My path to education has been difficult at times, and I haven’t always felt supported by family or had convenient circumstances that would allow me to be in school. I appreciate knowing that there are individuals who are invested in my success. I want this support and encouragement to motivate me to continue to serve, learn, and be collaborative with others. Ensign College has been a grounding experience for me.”