Shawn Ray

Oklahoma State University
Majors: Mechanical Aerospace Engineering; Pre-med
2017 Cohort

Before applying, Ray didn’t know if the scholarship was for him. He soon discovered the possibilities.

I really like the concrete “this is a problem, find a solution.” But at the UNCF/Koch Scholars Summit and the different things we’ve been taught here are more real-world based. The Summit is oriented toward building a person’s mindset and ideas to go out into the world and use them in whatever area they want to go into. The Summit definitely differs a lot from the classes that I have been a part of for the past year, but I really enjoy it because it makes me think more about who I am as a person and how I can apply the different ideologies and things toward not only my own career but also my daily life in general.

As I’ve grown, I’ve learned that taking a risk is the first step toward success. As I was filling out my scholarship application, I wasn’t sure if the program was for me. And I said, “You know what? I just have to finish the application. Fill it out and send it in because I just have to take that first step.” You might fail, but failure is a part of life. It’s what happens. Nobody wants it to happen, but it just happens. If you do fail, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. You’re just one step closer to your goal.