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Ask Scholarship Students: Kira Kaur and Sophie Caligiuri

Kira Kaur

Sophie Caligri

by Liz Dobbins (’21)

College is, at this point, ingrained into our society. From the crazy dorm years media portrays, to the valuable degree you need in our modern, working world, a college education and experience is extremely valuable. However, it is not accessible. Without scholarships, many Westminster students would never have been able to experience our culture, learn in an integrative setting, or meet their life-long friends.

In this season of giving, read along to learn about two Westminster students, Kira Kaura (’20) and Sophie Caligiuri (’22), who wouldn’t be here without the generosity of their scholarship donors.

Tell us about your background.

Kira: “My experiences growing up in a legal immigrant family shaped my passions and defined the woman I am today. I witnessed my parents work 16 hours a day at their small Indian restaurant so they could provide their children with the opportunities they never had. My parents struggled and sacrificed so that my siblings and I could earn the best education possible and achieve our dreams and aspirations.”

Sophie: “My mother never had the opportunity or the money to attend college. In spite of this, she acquired amazing artistic ability and has taught me to find beauty in even the smallest of things. My father attended some community college, but never earned a bachelor’s degree.”

“I am passionate and curious about what it means to feel different emotions: love, anger, sadness, excitement. My favorite way to find answers to my own questions about humanity is through art and literature. It is because of these passions that I have decided to major in English and minor in philosophy.

What does a Westminster education mean to you?

Kira: “My education is my priority because I want to repay my parents for all of their sacrifices and make them proud. From the small class sizes that create a personalized and individual learning experience, to the brilliant and dedicated professors who go above and beyond to ensure the success of their students, there are so many unique facets to the Westminster experience that have made my times here some of the best of my life. I have never had to hide who I really am here. I have felt love and acceptance; I have felt safety. And for that, I am eternally grateful.”

Sophie: “It means a lot to me to be able to attend college—especially at a private, liberal arts college such as Westminster—because it is an opportunity that everyone else in my family is unfamiliar with. I feel so grateful to be here. I truly believe that Westminster is the ideal place for me. I have met so many amazing and unique individuals at this school.” 

What would you like to say to your scholarship donor?

Kira: “I realized that a college education would be possible for me because of the generosity of wonderful and amazing people like you. From the bottom of my heart, I want to express the appreciation I have for you. You make the world a better place, and I strive to work hard in order to one day be able to give back to the community with the same generosity and kindness. Thank you.”

Sophie: “It is hard to express how thankful I am. You have awarded me an opportunity to continue pursuing higher education—an opportunity that nobody else in my family has received. You have given me the chance to learn and grow in a stable environment where I am surrounded by friends, mentors, and inspiration. Your generosity is unfathomable. Thank you for giving me the chance to be who I really want to be. You have donated so much more than money. The benefits I will receive because of your scholarship are priceless.”

If you would like to give a gift to a current or future Griffin, visit our giving page to make a donation. You can donate as little as $5 to as much as you choose, but whatever you give will make an impact on a student’s life. 

About the Westminster Review

The Westminster Review is Westminster College’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.