“I want to get a good education and a good job. It’s very important to me. I knew Stout was a leader in innovative education with hands-on experiences,” Umarova said.
The same quality education and opportunities are not available in Tajikistan. Seeing Umarova’s drive to continue her education, UW-Stout’s Glenda Jones, started a GoFundMe campaign for her travel and college fund.
“One of the biggest hurdles was simply getting the money for Nilu to travel back to the U.S. and register for her first semester,” Jones said. “Most of the people who contributed had met Nilu while she attended Menomonie High. People in the community really love Nilu and want to see her successfully complete college and have a rewarding career.
But Umarova still needed financial aid. So, she applied for the International Student Tuition Scholarship.
“Without the scholarship, I would not be at Stout,” she said.
In Tajikistan, Umarova was a youth activist, visiting schools and encouraging other young adults to volunteer around the country.
At UW-Stout, Umarova is a dedicated volunteer through her global involvement. She serves on Menomonie’s Downtown Board and won a community award for helping with the 2019 Winter Daze parade. She also volunteers at Bridge to Hope, Stepping Stones, Lions Club, Rotary Club and the public library.