The Deciding Factor: Scholarship recruits top student to NIU

Natalia DmitrukNatalia Dmitruk had already applied to 10 colleges when she learned that NIU could be a fit for her academic and career aspirations.

She immediately applied and soon received her acceptance to the university’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology. However, for this standout student from Mt. Prospect, Illinois, college would still be out of reach without extensive monetary support.

A crucial difference-maker for her was the OMRON Electronics Scholarship.

“I don’t want to give up on my goals because of finances, and this generous assistance keeps my parents from having to carry such a high financial burden,” said Dmitruk. “It inspires me to continue working hard to reach my goal of becoming an engineer.”

Her parents, Andrew and Margaret, are Polish immigrants who came to the United States in their 20s, each with only a suitcase, a strong work ethic and a desire for a better life.

“The money that they make is used to provide the necessities for our family,” said Dmitruk, who has a younger sister in high school. “The harsh reality is that without financial assistance, we are unable to afford my college education.”

Dmitruk is studying electrical engineering with an emphasis in biomedical engineering, with a double-minor in mathematical sciences and Spanish.

In addition, Dmitruk works upwards of 10 hours a week in NIU’s Engineering Building to cover the cost of books and other educational expenses. “Even with that, I find it hard to balance work and school,” said Dmitruk. “I cannot imagine what it would be like without the generous support I receive.”

After graduate school, Dmitruk hopes to work either in the field of prosthetics or fighting tumor growth. “I would love to work alongside doctors in a hospital to make the greatest impact I can in people’s lives,” she said.