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Student Spotlight

Lillian Lueck

Lillian Lueck

“I chose UWFox because it’s all-around convenient. It’s not too far from home and is incredibly affordable.”

Age: 27

Hometown: Watertown, WI

Current residence: Menasha, WI

When attended UWFox: Fall 2011 to present

Background before UWFox

I attended Watertown High School and graduated in the class of 2004. I’ve held a wide range of jobs since I was in high school. I’ve tended bar, apprenticed tattooing, and done a lot of customer service. In my time between high school and enrolling at UWFox, I spend quite a bit of time travelling around Wisconsin and the United States from Virginia to Colorado and out to California. Just last summer a friend of mine flew me to Texas for a kayaking trip. I think one of my favorite experiences was when my dad took me on a road trip to Las Vegas for my 18th birthday on a whim. We had such a blast at the casinos!

While I was in high school, I was accepted into college, though I opted to delay a college education since I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Choosing a major seemed like such a monumental decision that I wasn’t ready make. At 18, I barely knew myself enough to decide which shoes I wanted to wear. I just wanted to go out and see the world, meet new people and have fun; not decide my career as an adult. I did exactly that. In February 2011 I received my acceptance letter for UWFox. I was ecstatic because I was ready to go back to school and earn my college degree. I decided I had seen enough of the world, met enough interesting people, had enough fun and was now ready to build toward my own future.

In March 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was devastated not because I had cancer but because I was not going to be able to go college. I felt like I was being forced to give up a dream and continue working a full-time job I wasn’t particularly passionate about just to be able to pay off the inevitable medical bills.

After multiple surgeries and a mastectomy, my friends and family thought I was crazy to go college so soon after cancer. They tried to convince me to wait another year to recover but life is entirely too short to wait around for the “right” time. They put together a fundraising benefit to offer some financial relief for the medical bills so that I would be able to pursue my education. It was astounding to see how many people supported me and the amount of money they raised in my name.

Since starting at UWFox I’ve been given a clean bill of health and have created a non-profit organization to help other young women with breast cancer with their medical bills.

Why did you choose UWFox?

I chose UWFox because it’s all-around convenient. It’s not too far from home and is incredibly affordable. I didn’t see a reason to go to a larger college for my general courses and pay twice as much for larger classrooms.

Have you chosen a major?

Choosing a major is still difficult. For now I seem to have settled on Engineering but am also considering Geophysics.

What are you learning that you find interesting and rewarding at UWFox?

The amount of extra help that is available at UWFox amazes me. I think it’s wonderful that so many teachers and professors at the campus are willing to take extra time to help if needed; they are passionate about their jobs.

What are your career plans after UWFox?

My major right now is declared as Engineering, and I’m hoping to get into the Geological Engineering program at UW-Madison after UWFox.

Other interesting things about yourself that you’d like to share?

I enjoy being outdoors and active. This summer I canoed 70 miles on the Wisconsin River and competed in the Warrior Dash. I have always been very artistic and had my art in several galleries around the country. Also, I am the first person in my family to attend college.

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