Lynn English High School senior, Tallia Dudley recently received news that she has dreamed of for years. The QuestBridge Scholarship recipient received a full boat to Tufts University, a college that she had fallen in love with during a recent visit and had hoped to attend ever since she decided that she wanted a career in biomedical research.
“When I was matched, I was overwhelmed with happiness and a sense of relief,” said Dudley. “My mom and I were screaming and crying because this single decision was able to lift a gigantic burden off of me and my family. There are no words that could completely describe the joy I felt on that day and how I continue to feel as a match recipient. Receiving the Match Scholarship has completely changed my future. For years I anticipated that, even if I was lucky enough to be admitted into a prestigious college or university, I would still have to worry about how I would afford to attend.”
Dudley was prepared to apply for several scholarships, hoping she would be able to come up with the necessary finances; otherwise, she’d have to consider attending a school simply for the aid, and not one that she had dreamed of. Her fear of a lifetime of student loans diminished as soon as she heard the news that she was a match scholarship recipient, which is a full scholarship that requires no loans or contributions from the student.
This past October, Dudley attended the Tufts fly-in program, and in those two days she fell even more in love with the university, confirming her determination to attend.
“I vividly remember one day in my freshman year when I looked up at the college banners in the cafeteria and pointed at the Tufts one saying that it was going to be mine someday. Little did I know that not only would I be attending Tufts for undergrad, but also on a full scholarship,” she said.
Dudley has witnessed hard work pay off, and she will take what she has learned about balancing a busy schedule and apply it to her college career. The 17-year-old tennis athlete is President of the National Honor Society, Captain of the Quiz team, and a member of the Math Team, Environmental Club and La Vida Scholars. When she is not busy with schoolwork, she volunteers at the Phillips Manor Nursing Home, spending time with the residents. She also spent two summers working on research projects in the Translational Research Laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Dudley shares her advice on success inside and outside the classroom.
“From a young age I have always had the determination to be a successful, well-rounded individual. I always made sure that my schoolwork was my top priority, then I found time for extracurriculars that I had a passion for. Personally, I always like to make the most of my time and always want to be busy. When it comes to success, you have to be your biggest motivator, even when others are satisfied with the work you put out, you are the only one who knows your full capability and if you know you can push harder, then it is up to you to do so. I have had this mentality since I started in elementary school, but it is never too late to start. At the same time, make sure that what you are doing is making you happy. I never did any of this for acknowledgement from others, I did this because I knew the happiness it would bring me in the end. Without this end goal I do not think I would have found it within me to try so hard.”