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Grove Farm Scholar

Aidan Gregerson

2022 Grove Farm Scholar

Aidan Gregerson

Columbia University
Computer Science / Neuroscience

What motto best describes your outlook on life?

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” - Walt Disney

What has being awarded the Grove Farm Scholarship meant to you?

Simply put, a whole lot. This scholarship is amazing because it not only helps me, it takes some of the financial pressure off my family so that my siblings can also get their education. With this support, I am able to be more confident as a student without worrying about day-to-day expenses or the cost of school supplies. Giving out the scholarship has a “butterfly effect” that ultimately brings goodness to much of the world, and I am so grateful for Grove Farm’s commitment to building a better future.

What have you learned about yourself while you’ve been away?

It has become abundantly clear that the endless complexity of the modern world boils down to a simple observation—everyone is trying their best to get through their day and fulfill their responsibilities. I find this comforting because it naturally suggests that there should be a lot of empathy going around. With this in mind, I have learned that there is always a place for me. Being in college can be difficult because there are times when it feels like my classmates are much more capable than I am, but I’ve come to accept that as long as I am doing my best, that’s all that really matters. Even so, I often surprise myself with my accomplishments and how I am able to face challenges head on despite these misgivings. It was easy to feel out of place at the beginning of my college experience, but now I am confident that I am where I belong.

What drives you?

The thrill of discovery and uncovering the unknown, the love for my family and friends, and the opportunity to take in the beauty of life—both the bright and the dark. I am really driven by the chance to make a difference and better the lives of others and the world around me. My curiosity leads me to continue searching for new ways to understand things that I already know, and the support from those I care about keeps me going even through hard times. I live to give back—to my loved ones, to the world I call home, and to the community whose kindness has changed my life.

What gives you hope for the future?

I can confidently say that I have met many people throughout my life with motivations similar to mine, passions for bettering the world, and abilities that enable them to make a difference. Despite the many issues our society faces, there is no shortage of those who are willing to make change in the face of adversity. Every generation has faced a unique set of challenges, and every generation thus far has produced incredible problem solvers that rise to the occasion. If one remembers to look for the good in the world, it really is all around. This scholarship is a wonderful example because Grove Farm provides so much for the community by improving access to higher education, with purely philanthropic motives. The actions of committed individuals and organizations such as Grove Farm have made it clear to me that the future is very bright