Shane Voldarski is a criminal justice major at from Ontonagon, Mich. and recipient of the UP Commitment and Finlandia Merit Scholarships. Below is an interview between Voldarski and Amanda Staege about how scholarships have impacted their experience.
Tell me a little about yourself and your family. Where did you grow up- what was that experience like?
I am a first generation college student, and grew up in Ontonagon, about 45 minutes away from Finlandia. My childhood wasn’t the easiest, I didn’t have a mom growing up so that was something I struggled with, but I made it through and am now still living with my dad. I am currently a junior.
Talk me through your college decision making process. What made you decide to come to Finlandia?
I knew a few people that went to Finlandia so I was always interested in it because of them, and I had always wanted to go into Criminal Justice so I was impressed with Finlandia’s program. I especially love how helpful the professors are here, and the small class sizes, which were similar to my high school.
What are you majoring in? How did you choose that major and what’s your favorite thing about your courses/degree?
I was originally torn between Criminal Justice and Psychology, but I figured I may have more opportunities with Criminal Justice, but I am minoring in Psychology still. I was always interested in CJ; I lived in a small town with a lot of drug problems, so I wanted to go into this field because every town can use the help, and I want to make a difference.
Can you talk about some of those experiences you’ve had and what those have been like?
I have not done any internships yet, but I’m currently working on setting up an internship with a local branch of Child Protective Services, which is typically a nine-week internship.
What are your plans/goals/dreams after graduating (if you know)?
I plan on going into CPS, but if I don’t do that I’d like to work at a police department in an entry level position.
What’s been one thing about Finlandia that has surprised you?
One thing that surprised me was Finlandia’s small class sizes and one-on-one opportunities. The class sizes here are similar to the class sizes at my high school, so it was nice because I was used to it already.
How have scholarships helped you in your education?
I received a scholarship my first year through TRIO that really helped; it cut my out-of-pocket costs that year in half. My other scholarships have also helped a lot.