Scholarship Spotlight: Caitlin Russell, future Tahoe Truckee firefighter
Every year Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF) has the honor and pleasure of getting to know our wonderful graduating senior scholarship recipients. We’re always so impressed and moved by these young people who are chasing dreams and, oftentimes, are the first generation in their family to attend a college.
We recently caught up with Caitlin Russell, recipient of two scholarships, one from Martis Camp Foundation and the other from Tahoe Donner, to learn more about her plans for next year, which include attending Cal Poly Humboldt to study Applied Fire Science and Management.
TTCF: What, or who, inspired you to want to become a firefighter?
Caitlin: My uncle is the Battalion Chief at Sac Metro. He’s been my biggest inspiration to become a firefighter. I have also completed the Emergency Response Program at Truckee High School, Cal Fire Camp Cinder, and First Alarm Girls Fire Camp. They’ve all been an inspiration in leading me to want to complete this career path in firefighting.
TTCF: What do the scholarships you’ve earned mean to you, how will they open doors for you in the future?
Caitlin: As a woman hoping to pursue a career in the fire services, both the Martis Camp Foundation Scholarship and the Tahoe Donner Impact Scholarship give me a leg up in this male-dominated profession by allowing me to gain more education and have as little student debt as possible.
TTCF: Do you think you’ll return to Tahoe/Truckee someday to be part of the firefighting team in our community
Caitlin: I would like to come back to the Tahoe Truckee area to join the local firefighting team here. Some people ask me why I want to be a firefighter and I can sum that up in one word—community. I was born and raised here and I want to come back to serve this community, the one I love so much.
TTCF: What would you say to future high school students who are considering applying for a scholarship?
Caitlin: If you are planning on applying for a scholarship definitely do it because it will help you in the future with leaving as little student debt as possible. For me personally, with the TTCF scholarship, I may have procrastinated, leaving me with a lot to write, with few days for it. Have as much time as possible to do your scholarships. It also made me reflect on who I am and who I want to be.
TTCF: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I am the first generation in my family to go to college. Without these scholarship opportunities college may not have been possible. I’m very thankful for this opportunity.
To be part of this life-changing giving for Tahoe Truckee youth, please donate to the Community Scholarship Fund, today!