Simona Olah works hard, but she’s used to it, and wouldn’t have it any other way. As recipient of Ledger & Quill’s Transfer Scholarship from Oakton Community College, she started at DePaul this Fall, and intends to make the best of an opportunity, as she has done before.
While at Oakton she distinguished herself, earning Phi Theta Kappa and OCC Honors Student memberships, the Oakton Educational Foundation Scholarship and its Presidential Scholarship, and maintaining straight A’s in the demanding curriculum. According to one of her recommenders, she is in the top 1% of his students of all time. Yet with all her work and coursework, she seized upon another opportunity to change a life.
Her personal story is interesting. Leaving her native Romania, she set out to the United States, and started her accounting studies at Oakton. She works as a nanny and a tutor for a family, which blends her talents. She teaches and instructs, but also cares for a child with special needs. With the special help of an equally-patient Hebrew tutor, Olah took it upon herself to help in his instruction for his Bar Mitzvah. “Because I understood his learning style, I took on the responsibility of learning all his lessons, then teaching them to him,” Olah relates; “it was at this point that I realized I was going to have the most rewarding experience of my life.” It took two years of work, the three of them, but he had his Bar Mitzvah. “At the ceremony everyone saw for the first time that the boy was capable of greatness.”
“I want to thank Ledger & Quill for this scholarship,” Olah said. “Because of the generous support, I was able to enroll at the school of my dreams. Receiving the scholarship will substantially reduce my financial burden, and help me achieve my goal of a quality higher education.”
The L&Q Transfer Scholarship will be a big help to Olah, who plans on continuing with the family until her graduation; what comes after remains to be seen. She’d like to get an internship, and learn more about practice areas, then start her career. (She’s only in her third year, by the way.)
“I hope that one day,” she concludes, “I will be able to help other hard-working and ambitious students achieve their goals.”
With her academic excellence, her persistence and dedication, and her recognition that all goals can be reached through hard work, Olah seemed destined for DePaul.