University of Louisville Magazine

FALL 2013

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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Cardinal Covenant: Irma Bektic BACKGROUND: The Cardinal Covenant, initiated in 2007, provides full scholarships to Kentucky's most economically disadvantaged students whose families live at or below 150% of the federal poverty line. The frst of its kind in Kentucky, the scholarship awards students enough gift assistance from federal, state, private, and institutional sources to cover tuition, room, board and books. The Cardinal Covenant students are able to graduate debt-free as long as they meet all requirements, graduate within four years and remain Pell Grant eligible each year. Cardinal Covenant scholars are encouraged to live on campus and participate in work-study jobs, and are assigned advisors who help them adjust to college life. GIVING THANKS: Irma Bektic, 20, calls Louisville home, but her family's journey began in Bosnia. They moved to Louisville in 2002 and started a new life in the United States. "My frst few months in the U.S. were diffcult because no one in my family spoke any English," she said. But, just a few years later, the Atherton High School graduate proudly came to UofL with several scholarships, including the Cardinal Covenant and Trustees Scholarship, and acceptance into the Muhammad Ali Scholars Program. She is also co-president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at UofL and spent this summer studying in Scotland at the Fulbright Summer Institute. "Being a Cardinal Covenant student provided me with a support network of mentors who are genuinely interested in seeing me succeed academically," said Bektic. Faculty mentors are key in encouraging her to pursue additional scholarship opportunities and grants for research and post-graduate work. She is currently studying secondary education with a concentration in mathematics, with a goal to attain a doctorate in education policy. "The past few years have taught me the importance of being proactive and taking advantage of every opportunity to apply for a suitable scholarship," she said. "It's important to seek out as many opportunities as possible, be very persistent, and ask questions. So many students who have the potential to do amazing things don't do so because they don't think that they will be accepted into a particular scholarship program." Bektic is thrilled to be a UofL scholar. "I fell in love with UofL's campus and community during my frst visit. I am learning more about other prestigious ational international scholarship programs and gaining m more mentors, wh which will be very he helpful when my u undergraduate experience con concludes. I am exc excited to see wha what the future hold holds for all of my postgraduate opti options." Inset photo: Irma Bektic explores Edinbu Edinburgh Castle during her Fulbright Summ Summer Institute visit to Scot Scotland in July. 40|LOUISVILLE.EDU

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