Jessica Mehre remembers the day her high school guidance counselor mapped out her home address to be sure she met the geographic requirements for the Thomas H. Lutsey Waseda Farms Scholarship.
And it’s a good thing she did, because as Mehre said, “receiving the award at the end of my senior year was a sign that it was all worth it.”
Mehre spent high school overloading herself with AP classes, chores on her family’s dairy farm, extra curriculars, and more. Becoming a Lutsey Scholar proved all that work was going to pay off, and that someone thought her goals and passions were worthwhile.
Mehre now attends the University of Wisconsin Madison where she studies dairy science and agronomy. She’s studied abroad twice in Costa Rica and Mexico and will be heading off to the Netherlands this spring. In addition to classes, Mehre works in a dairy nutrition lab and at a local gym, both of which are jobs she enjoys so much she hardly considers them work.
It’s work I want to do; not work I have to do.
Mehre credits the Thomas H. Lutsey Waseda Farms scholarship for allowing her to develop such a positive relationship with her work. Rather than finding a job in a dining hall as some of her friends have had to do in order to cover tuition and other expenses, Mehre had the freedom to seek employment opportunities that truly interest her. The scholarship, Mehre said, allowed her to develop the ability to look at work as something she enjoys.
To high school seniors with their eyes on the Thomas H. Lutsey Waseda Farms scholarship, Mehre recommends refining the essay component of the application. “Use your background as a strength to identify yourself in a novel manner,” she said.