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First-Gen UIndy Student, Siang Tha Len ’23, Benefits from Lilly Scholarship


University of Indianapolis student Siang Tha Len ’23 (elementary education) is one of several first-generation college students in the Hoosier State to receive a “Realizing the Dream” scholarship, made possible by Lilly Endowment and facilitated by Independent Colleges of Indiana.

“This scholarship grants me resources I need to pursue my career,” she said. “My vision is that I will become a teacher one day and help my community. I also wish to return to my home village (Zephai) to teach basic English voluntarily. The scholarship is helping me a lot financially since my family is low-class. It reduces the tremendous amount of stress and worries that I have about my tuition. This scholarship lets me know that there is someone out there believing in me and encourages me to try harder to make my dreams come true.”

Len thanks her parents for their unyielding support.

They left our home country and sacrificed their lives to give their children an opportunity for the American Dream.

Siang Tha Len ’23

Several other mentors also helped her along the way:

“I want to thank Jody Rose (my advisor) for nominating me as a UIndy recipient. Words cannot express how grateful I am.  I also want to say thank you to Ms. Sara Berghoff. She is my high school teacher. She’s always there for me through thick and thin. As a first-generation college student, I had no idea where to begin my life, but she listened to my stories and helped me figure it out. Thank you Ms. Berghoff for always welcoming me into your room no matter what kind of day it was. I want to thank you for instilling passion in me and believing in me. I want to be able to influence students and be a positive role model like you were to me. You have done more for me than you’ll ever know.”

Learn more about UIndy’s School of Education