ACE Scholarships Helps Arkansas Senior with Future in International Law

With the help of ACE Scholarships, Celeste S. was able to pursue her interest in serving others at the college-preparatory school of her choice. Now, as a freshman at the University of Central Arkansas, Celeste is majoring in political science and plans to attend law school after earning her undergraduate degree.

Celeste celebrates high school graduation with family

From an early age, Celeste spent days with her grandfather, a local judge, and watched in wonder as he worked on behalf of the citizens of Arkansas. Her grandfather’s dedication to the community instilled a passion for public service in Celeste. “Watching him work on cases was so inspiring,” she explains. “I was so interested in what he was doing and how he was impacting the community; I knew I wanted to pursue law.”

In high school, Celeste participated in Model UN, where she debated a number of global issues. She was also an active member of Amnesty International, where she helped provide aid to Syrian Refugees. “Seeing all these issues globally really made me want to help somehow.” Says Celeste. So on weekends, Celeste and her friends would get together over dessert and write their representatives with solutions to global and domestic social issues. “It was great!” She explains. “We were doing something for a good cause, and also eating ice cream!”

But transitioning from public school to private school was a big adjustment for Celeste. “I remember feeling a little bit out of control,” she says. “It was a huge change in the pace of learning. I doubted–could I actually complete the assignments on time? And could I do them correctly?”

With the help of her Honors International Studies teacher, Bill T., Celeste was able to rise to her full potential. “He helped me with so much; more than just what he assigned.” She explains. “Mr. T. helped with my other classes, he helped me edit my college applications, and he was always available to help with resources for my other projects.”

In her senior year, family circumstances nearly ended Celeste’s academic journey. Financial hardship forced her mother to make a decision that no parent should ever have to make– which one of her children should she take out of school? That’s when Celeste found ACE. With the help of an ACE scholarship, Celeste was able to finish her senior year and graduate with honors.  

As Celeste prepares for her freshman year at the University of Central Arkansas, she offers this advice to young students at the beginning of their academic journey, “Don’t give up or forget your worth. School can be intimidating at times, but don’t forget how smart you are and always try your best.”