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Scholarship Stories: Sunnie Ko '11

Sunnie Ko '11 discusses the impact a scholarship has made on her career and life.

Sunnie Ko '11 discusses the impact a scholarship has made on her career and life.

Video by Joe O'Neill; story by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

Growing up in a single-parent, multigenerational household, Sunnie Ko ’11 was loved and supported. But financial stressors made it difficult to envision a future that matched her desire to achieve. Intending to go to college on a lacrosse scholarship, she interviewed at a few Division I universities in her home state of Virginia. These college interviews were singularly focused on athletics, and while athletics was a key part of her life, it was far from her only interest.

“I had hopes that were bigger than that,” she recalls. After a trip to Dickinson—and taking part in a college visit that focused equally on campus life on and off the field—she knew she’d found her perfect fit.

Ko found a close-knit community among her lacrosse teammates and coaches—a community she calls “family"—and classmates and professors who challenged her to think critically. A senior thesis project opened her eyes to the complexities of issues surrounding identity and diversity. And when she left college, she had the skills and adaptability to take a position with a successful startup venture. She now counts herself among the community of alumni who work at the college, and she especially enjoys working closely with athletics students, staff and alumni and mentoring student-leaders who organize the Women of Color Summit.

Since her graduation, she’s been a loyal supporter of scholarships at Dickinson because she believes in reinvesting in the places that have helped her grow.

“My Dickinson experience wouldn’t have been possible without scholarships and financial aid, and I’m so grateful for those who step up and make those amazing gifts,” Ko says. “It’s a really strong feeling to know that somebody out there has faith in you and knows that you’re worth being invested in.”

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Published July 9, 2021

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