Passion, relentless determination and donor support are key elements of success for Amber Sayles

Amber Sayles-environmental

When Amber Sayles doesn’t have her nose buried in her honors textbooks or her hands full of test tubes from her research, she can be found caring for her young daughter and volunteering in the community. With so many demands on her time, Amber has relied on her relentless determination, time management skills and several hard-earned scholarships to help her on her path to success.


Routinely identified by her professors as one of the “top students in her class,” Amber is in the University Honors Program and is in the top 7 percent of seniors at NIU.


“I have always been a driven, goal-oriented person,” Amber says. “I strive to be my best at the many roles I have in life.”


For nearly eight years, Amber has worked in the emergency services and medical fields as both a volunteer firefighter and EMT/paramedic. She currently works as a paramedic and CPR instructor with the Maple Park Fire Department.


“It has always been my passion to help others,” she says.


With her passion for helping others and a strong interest in the medical field, it’s no surprise that the senior chemistry major has plans to continue her education after graduation and pursue a career as a physician assistant.


Amber feels very strongly that NIU is setting her up for continued success in her graduate program and beyond.


“I chose NIU because it is close to my hometown of Sycamore and it provides a lot of opportunities for research and community involvement,” Amber explains. “NIU provided me with the opportunity to excel in the classroom, work with knowledgeable professors and prepare for the rigorous work that my graduate program will require.”


Amber also says scholarship support has contributed to her success.


“As a working single mother, it can be difficult to keep up with the many expenses for school, daycare and other bills. The scholarships mean so much to me. I work very hard to maintain good grades, and it means a lot to me to be acknowledged for my hard work and dedication. I am very grateful for the generosity of the NIU donors who support student scholarships,” she says.


Student scholarship support is an important area of need at NIU. If you would like to help current and future Huskies like Amber, please make a gift to the Scholarship Fund through the NIU Foundation.