Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Graduate Student Wins Sallie Mae & Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholarship

Lacy Oliver

March 7, 2024


Abigail Torres, a graduate student at Texas Tech University, received a $10,000 college scholarship from Sallie Mae, one of only ten recipients nationwide.

Abigail Torres, a dedicated graduate student at Texas Tech University, has been honored as one of only 10 recipients nationwide of a $10,000 college scholarship from Sallie Mae in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. This award, known as the Bridging the Dream Scholarship for Graduate Students, serves as proof of Abigail's hard work, dedication, and unwavering commitment to her educational journey.

"I'm thrilled to be one of 10 winners of this year's Bridging the Dream Scholarship for Graduate Students,” Abigail said. “I'd like to thank The Sallie Mae Fund and Thurgood Marshall College Fund for recognizing me. I feel that being awarded this scholarship is a testament to my hard work and dedication and really to everyone who has helped me get to this point in my educational journey. 

“This scholarship will go a long way in helping me complete my degree and make a difference in my community and hopefully many others." 

As a student of the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering at Texas Tech's Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering, Abigail's academic pursuits are fueled by a profound desire to address pressing global challenges, particularly in the realm of water accessibility. 

"In my community and communities worldwide, clean and drinkable water is not readily accessible," Abigail explained. "Thanks to the Bridging the Dream Scholarship for Graduate Students, I'm one step closer to completing my master's program at Texas Tech and expanding my knowledge to increase access to clean, drinkable water."

This scholarship alleviates financial burdens, allowing Abigail to devote her energy fully to her studies and aspirations. 

"It will absolutely be a big help," she said. "The amount I received was enough to cover all my expenses and prevent the need to take out loans. Not only does this scholarship award support my education, but it also invests in my career and passion for helping communities access clean drinking water."

Abigail's journey represents Texas Tech's motto, "From Here, It's Possible." Despite encountering challenges and embarking on a non-traditional academic path, she remains steadfast in her pursuit of excellence. 

"Earning a degree from Texas Tech will be a springboard for my future," Abigail said. "Winning the Bridging the Dream for Graduate Students scholarship is proof that anything is possible. I'm better prepared for my future, and I'm striving to be the best environmental engineer I can be."

In offering advice to fellow students, Abigail emphasizes the importance of perseverance and mentorship. 

"Stick to it, despite the challenges that life might throw your way," she advised. "Finding the right scholarship and program was difficult, but with hard work and perseverance, I have ended up on a path toward a successful future. 

“Before grad school, a friend of mine told me to find a mentor. I took the recommendation seriously, and in doing so was able to find my mentor, Dr. Kayleigh Millerick, who has not only been a guide in my educational journey, but in my personal life as well."

Abigail's remarkable journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring scholars, demonstrating the transformative power of dedication and resilience in the pursuit of one's dreams. As she continues her academic endeavors, she remains committed to making a meaningful impact in her field and beyond.

More information about this scholarship can be found here