Center for Access & Attainment > About > Student Profiles > Shrasta Tamrakar
Graduated from Lane Tech College Prep in Chicago, Ill.
"I was born in Nepal, a small country in Asia located between China and India, where I lived with my parents and siblings until age 5. In the fall of 1999, my parents decided that immigrating to the U.S. would afford my siblings and me many opportunities. I remember having a wonderful sense of excitement about coming to the U.S., yet I was still nervous. I started my first day of kindergarten a month after arriving in Chicago. I was shy and introverted and barely spoke to my new classmates. The most difficult part was the language barrier — I could barely speak English. However, with the help of my teachers and hours of practice of speaking to my siblings, I quickly became fluent in the language.
"I attended several different elementary schools because my dad did his best to give my siblings and me the best education. I graduated from Sacred Heart elementary school, a private Catholic school, where I attended seventh and eighth grades through a scholarship. I attended Lane Tech College Prep for high school and mentally and emotionally matured during my years there. I participated in many art-focused summer camps and after-school programs growing up, and I gained experience in sculpture, photography, video editing and other art mediums. This early exposure to the arts led me to become a hands-on, visual learner.
"My parents made sure my siblings and I never forgot our Nepalese and Newari heritage. Every year, Nepali families throughout the Chicago area gathered and held an annual Nepali New Years' party. My dad encouraged my sister and me to perform traditional Nepalese dances at the parties; this led to my love of dancing. My parents taught us that academics are always top priority, but gaining experience and interacting with others is how to develop bonds with others."
"I became interested in the sciences my sophomore year of high school. I took as many science classes as I could to develop an enriched, scientific mind during my last two years of high school. By the end of senior year, I knew I wanted to major in one of the sciences.
"When it was time to choose a college that best suited me, I felt as if money was one of the major deciding factors. My father was unemployed at the time and money was tight for my family. Nearly every weekend, I was writing essays for various scholarships. I worked extremely hard in high school to achieve a high GPA. I knew that through my academic achievements, I could potentially earn merit scholarships from colleges. My hard work paid off — I was able to come to my top choice school, DePaul, where I was offered many merit scholarships and financial aid."
"It's an honor to be part of such a supportive and welcoming program. I started in the Student Support Services (SSS) program the summer before my freshman year at DePaul. This allowed me to become more familiar with the campus; because of this, I didn't feel overwhelmed my first quarter as a freshman. Through SSS and the help of my advisor, I had the opportunity to do research with a chemistry professor at DePaul during the summer before my sophomore year. For me, SSS is a program that holds me together throughout my college experience. If I need someone to talk to about academics or even get a little extra help in classes I am struggling in, I do not hesitate to get assistance from the program.
"I hope to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry in two years and attend dentistry school. Being someone who is hands on and visual, I know dentistry is something that I will enjoy pursuing a career in."