Medallion Scholarship Program made grad's dreams come true
Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2023 graduates.
If not for the ASU Alumni Association Medallion Scholarship, Sierra Lockett would not be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in psychology this spring — for her, the scholarship made college possible.
“Not only was I accepted into a program that could make my dreams a reality, but I was also accepted into a group where I felt I belonged,” said Lockett, who is graduating from the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. “The Medallion Scholarship Program is a group full of service-driven, highly intelligent go-getters. They have inspired me to work harder, to be a better human being for myself and the community.”
Medallion Scholars are chosen from incoming Arizona high school students who have received the New American University Scholar Award (which recognizes academic achievement) and who apply for the Medallion Scholarship Program selection process. More than 200 students apply to the program each year, and final recipients receive a four-year, renewable financial award of $4,000.
To renew the award, the scholar must actively participate in regular meetings and activities, community service and maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average. Students must successfully complete a minimum of 30 ASU credit hours for the academic year.
Through the program, Lockett said she not only grew into a leader but also a leader who can lead other leaders, which she did in her role as president of the Medallion Scholarship Program’s Leadership Council.
“The benefits of this program are endless,” Lockett said. “I have grown into a confident young woman who believes not only in her work but also in the work I can do for others. I have a circle of support from this program that provides friendly faces that want me to succeed. The program's advisor wants every member to succeed.
“Really what this program is about is seeing not only yourself succeed but watching others grow and succeed, too. The friendly atmosphere helps when life and school are stressful, and the community of the Medallion Scholars is one of the reasons I can say that (I'm graduating) with a great GPA.”
Lockett said her college experience would not have been possible without her parents, fellow Medallion Scholars and scholarship advisor James Randall, ‘09 BA, ‘11 MEd, ASU Alumni Association director of student engagement.
Question: What was your "aha" moment when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?
Answer: My "aha" moment came after choosing my major (in psychology). I realized during the pandemic that isolation can be hard, and sometimes we need someone to talk to in such confusing times.
Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
A: I learned much about myself through classes and my connections with such diverse people. I learned to accept myself and who I was.
Q: Why did you choose ASU?
A: I chose ASU because I wanted to follow in my mother's footsteps, as she was the first college graduate in her family. I wanted to start a legacy of Sun Devils.
Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?
A: Association Teaching Professor Kathleen Waldron (School of Social and Behavioral Sciences) taught me so much about life and how we choose to live it. Through the ups and downs, we can still achieve a life we can say we are proud of. We have to remember to take care of those around us and ourselves.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?
A: You must remember to enjoy life — college goes by extremely fast, and we only get to be this age once. Of course, make sure to study and do well, but talk with classmates, take care of yourself and make sure that the life you live now is something you can be proud of!
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I will be helping people's dreams come true as an engineer for a local sign company. I work with the machines that provide the designs for commercial signs that will be made for public display.