The CBA DREAMBIG Academy has had its share of success stories, and Krystal Kozawa’s is emblematic of what the program wants to accomplish. As the daughter of Japanese and Mexican immigrants and a first-generation native English speaker, Kozawa is the first person from her family to attend college.
That the freshman international business major from Omaha is attending CBA is not only a victory for Kozawa, but also for UNL. Thanks to being awarded a Gates Millennium Scholarship, Kozawa essentially had her pick of any college in the country.
“Through the DREAMBIG program, I not only realized I wanted to pursue a career in business, but I also heard about the CBA Honors Academy,” Kozawa said. “When it came down to deciding which college would be the one, UNL was the only one I felt had a massive support system and would constantly push me to be better.”
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program gives students of color an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline. Kozawa’s scholarship covers all her college costs based on income, community service, academics and ethnic background. After an application process that included eight essays and two letters of recommendation, Kozawa was one of just six Nebraska students selected for the scholarship.
“It was life-changing,” she said. “In that moment, I felt the financial burden of my education lift off my shoulders and was so thankful for everything that had gotten me there.”
After college, Kozawa hopes to represent a company in global business transactions. She owes her career choice to the week she spent at DREAMBIG before her senior year of high school.
“UNL wasn’t even on my radar before I went through the DREAMBIG program,” Kozawa said. “But after spending so much time on campus and with administration at CBA, I knew I had to consider UNL.”
DREAMBIG Academy webpage