Optimal Announces Spring 2021 Scholarship Winners

Our highest priority at Optimal is to assist college students in charting a course for their educational and professional goals, and then providing them with resources to help achieve those goals. This includes presenting students in need with scholarships to put toward tuition, books, and other expenses. Today, we're delighted to announce the three winners of our spring quarter scholarship awards. They are:

  • Online Degree Scholarship winner: Carmel Harwood, earning an online bachelor's degree in philosophy through SUNY Empire State College
  • Undergraduate Scholarship winner: Kimberly Castro, pursuing a bachelor's degree in nursing at Arizona College of Nursing
  • Community College Scholarship winner: Tyler Lehto, completing an associate degree in engineering at Lake Superior College

All three of this quarter’s winners have faced daunting challenges, and yet they all demonstrate an unwavering commitment to getting a college education. They have each been inspired by their families to choose careers that will enable them to reach their long-term goals, despite the time and effort involved in achieving their dreams. Tyler, who experienced traumatic and life-changing injuries resulting from an accident, hopes to join his uncles in their engineering firm. Carmel has ambitious plans to earn two bachelor's degrees—one in philosophy and the other in linguistics—before becoming a lawyer specializing in contractual law. Finally, Kimberly was inspired by the intensive care nurses who cared for her mother during a recent illness to embark on a degree in nursing. "When I applied and enrolled in nursing school in 2019," she adds, "I did not fully understand the overwhelming need and shortage for qualified nurses. This pandemic has proven the need and shortage of nurses in our healthcare community."

We're confident that these three talented and hardworking individuals will achieve great things, and we are both honored and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to their accomplishments.

If you would like to earn a college degree but find the cost of tuition and other expenses challenging, please consider applying for our next round of scholarships. Whether you are seeking an online, hybrid, or on-campus degree at a community college or four-year university, there is a scholarship opportunity for you. To access more information, the Optimal scholarship application, and an archive of past winners, visit our scholarships page.