West Hills student awarded full-tuition scholarship


Courtesy Photo

Tess Strub, a dual-enrollment student at West Hills Center, plans to attend Malone University to study Zoo and Wildlife Biology this upcoming fall.

Marissa Wiesenbach, North Campus Writer

According to Forbes Magazine, the average cost of attending a four-year private college is now over $59,000 per year. But for West Hills student Teresa (Tess) Strub, a four-year college education will now cost much less.

In February, Strub was awarded a four-year tuition scholarship to Malone University, a Christian liberal arts college in Canton, Ohio.

She was awarded the scholarship for her outstanding performance in a speech competition that took place at Malone University. There, she placed first among sixty participants in the competition.

While partaking in this competition, Strub spoke about her vision for her future at Malone, where she will be studying Zoo and Wildlife Biology this upcoming fall.

Strub states, “In my speech, I talked about how I plan to live out Malone’s college motto: Christ’s Kingdom First.”

In addition, Strub spoke about her professional goals beyond college, while delivering her award-winning speech. Ultimately, she plans open a rescue zoo for sick, injured, and endangered wildlife.

With her passion for animals and caring nature, Strub intends to rehabilitate wild animals in need of help, whether they are ill, hurt, threatened, endangered, or orphaned.

Ultimately, Strub hopes to heal animals, and she will release them back into their natural habitats in the wild.

She says, “I want to help animals that are unprotected, and I hope to save them from any further danger.”

According to Strub, she could not have perfected her speech or won the scholarship without the help of her Oral Communications professor, Judy Berasi.

Just days before the competition at Malone, Professor Berasi met with Strub to help her polish her speech, with Berasi driving to Strub’s home since the college was closed due to inclement weather.

Together, the two worked to improve Strub’s speech. Specifically, Professor Berasi gave Strub suggestions on how to improve subtle aspects of her presentation, such as her tone, inflection, pace, and body language.

These improvements, given by Professor Berasi, surely made Strub stand out in front of the judges at her speech competition.

Strub told CCAC, “I do not think I could have won this scholarship without Ms. Berasi’s help. She gave me the motivation to perfect my speech, and she helped me for hours as I practiced, giving me pointers on how to do better.”

Professor Berasi told CCAC, “Tess made great progress and came through 100 percent.”

In the competition, Strub shined as she delivered her award-winning speech with a PowerPoint presentation displayed in the background. Upon her success, Strub made her family members, friends, and college professor very proud.

Strub told CCAC, “Receiving this scholarship has taken a huge burden off of me and my parents.”

Professor Berasi said, “Every student should read about Tess’s story for inspiration and motivation.”

Strub, a home-schooled student residing in Cornell School District, is currently taking college-level classes at CCAC’s West Hills Center during her senior year of high school. She has been a student of CCAC since Fall 2018.

As a dual-enrollment student, Strub is working to prepare herself for entrepreneurship by taking a variety of college-level general education courses.

At CCAC, Strub is completing many routine courses that she would otherwise need to complete while attending a four-year college during her freshman year.

Strub says, “I decided to start taking classes at CCAC so I could save money while completing general education courses, and by doing so I will be able to focus more on my major later on at a four-year school.”

Thus far, Strub has taken or is enrolled in courses such as English 101, English 102, Oral Communications, and Logic to ensure her success at Malone and the success of her rescue zoo.

Strub says, “I am taking college-level English courses at CCAC because I know I will need to do a lot of writing as the owner of a rescue zoo. Writing will be a large part of my career, so I decided to improve my writing skills now as a student of CCAC.”

In addition, Strub says, “When I am building my business, I will need to present proposals to various organizations, and I will need to ask for donations, as well. So, I decided to take a speech class at CCAC.”

Overall, Strub has enjoyed her time at CCAC thus far, and it will likely serve her well as she moves onto Malone University as a freshman this upcoming fall.