First-Generation College Student Inspired to Create a Brighter Future for Others
The eldest of four daughters in a single-parent home, Kelsey Newland saw college as a path to a brighter future for herself, but along the way developed a passion for making that path accessible for others.
After graduating from William Chrisman High School, Kelsey attended Westminster College, a private liberal arts college in Fulton, Missouri. With no financial support from family and working part-time jobs both on and off campus, Kelsey says at times it was challenging for her as a first-generation college student.
“I counted on my Truman Heartland scholarships,” says Kelsey, who received the Majorie and Forrest Martin Scholarship and the Association for Industrial Development Scholarship to help in her first year and as renewal scholarships thereafter. “Knowing what I was receiving and what I still needed to cover helped me plan my expenses. Renewable scholarships lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and helped me finish my undergraduate with no student loans.”
In May 2019, Kelsey completed her undergraduate program in political science and French at Westminster, but she remained in Fulton after graduation to accept a position as a Study Abroad Fellow at the college. In this role, Kelsey had the opportunity to travel and work closely with international students who were seeking degrees at Westminster. Paired with two internships in Jefferson City, the gap year as a Fellow fueled Kelsey’s decision to pursue a law degree at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and study international law.
“As I become more aware of what is going on in the world, I realize that there is great opportunity for me to be a part of something larger than myself.”