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A first-generation Canadian and third-year applied statistics student focused on economics and computer science, Kristine Villaluna is breaking new ground as a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field.
“In my second year here, I took my very first statistics course and I just fell in love,” says Kristine. “I realized that I like being able to use math to solve real life problems, analyze different types of data and draw conclusions from it.”
Kristine credits the numerous scholarships she’s received (including the Jason Lang Scholarship, Alexander Rutherford Scholarship, and numerous University of Lethbridge scholarships and awards) with giving her the ability to pursue her passion for applied statistics.
“Because of scholarships, I don't have to worry too much about how I'm going to pay for my tuition or have to work part time. I'm able to focus more on my studying.”
Now, as part of uLethbridge’s World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Local Committee, she’s working to give others the same opportunity for higher education.
“We're fundraising for the Shine a Light initiative which goes towards refugee girls education,” explains Kristine. “In refugee camps, boys outnumber girls four to one, so it’s important that girls get the same access to an education. I get really emotional when I think about it because in different circumstances I could have been one of those girls and I'm so lucky to have this opportunity here.”
Kristine says she plans to continue her university career after graduation and pursue a master’s degree.