Woodinville’s Annalisa Mueller-Eberstein is one of 12 students across the country to receive scholarships totaling $60,000 from First Tech, the nation's sixth-largest credit union serving technology companies.
Annalisa is a recent graduate of the International Community School in Kirkland.
“I was quite excited to be one of the 12 to receive a scholarship because it means I can shift my focus from trying to figure out how to pay for college to actually participating in college,” Annalisa said. “I was also feeling quite proud of myself because I had just accomplished something. All those hours and applications had finally borne fruit.”
She was the only one from Washington to receive a scholarship.
“When I saw the list of fellow recipients, there was a bit of nervousness mixed with the pride because I was the only one from Washington State,” Annalisa said. “Now I must make sure to represent us well and do us proud."
This year's recipients' intended majors span STEM subjects like engineering, computer science, and biochemistry, as well as international relations, special education and speech-language pathology.
“We are pleased to provide scholarships to these deserving young men and women. The road before them will be filled with obstacles and opportunities while demanding higher levels of resiliency and perseverance,” said Greg Mitchell, president and CEO of First Tech. “We remain resolute in our support of young minds and the amazing First Tech members who made these scholarships possible.”
When she graduates from college, Annalisa initially intends to pursue a career as a foreign service specialist.
“As a child, I regularly researched the cultures of other nations and cities, inspired by our differences. Growing up in America in one Korean household and one German household demonstrated the value of understanding and appreciating these different national stories and identities to me,” she said. “My grandfather, a former politician in Germany, also inspired me to follow a career in public service.”
As she got older, Annalisa occasionally accompanied her father on business excursions to Brazil, Boston, and China.
“It was then I fell in love with the idea of fostering global unity, sharing resources, and eliminating conflict. When I entered middle school, I became familiar with MUN (Model United Nations) and the United Nations the organization was based on; however, I was too young to join,” she said. “In the meantime, I read about Angela Merkel and Isabel Peron and how they led their nations on a global playing field. I also learned about Christine Lagarde and Hilary Clinton, powerful women in politics that worked towards connecting nations and promoting peace."
Annalisa said she doesn’t know where she will work abroad at this point, but because she speaks German and Spanish, she’ll most likely end up in a country where one of those languages is spoken.
She said she’d eventually like to transfer her knowledge gained as a foreign service specialist into the classroom with the “hopes of educating others with her experience.”
“Following my time in the field, I hope to return to the classroom as a primary or secondary school teacher and inspire and aid the next generation of global citizens and leaders,” Annalisa said. “My teachers and community supported me, and I hope to return the favor, following a few years away from bell schedules first.”