Tori Dunston graduated from Sacred Heart in 2013 and was awarded a full-tuition scholarship from the Kiewit Foundation. To be awarded this scholarship, one must maintain a high school rank in the upper 25% of their graduating class, hold a 3.0-4.0 GPA, and score a 21 or higher on the ACT, or 990 or higher on the SAT.

Tori was inspired by Mike Jensen, principal at Sacred Heart, to pursue engineering.

“Even though I loved science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), I felt engineering was out of my reach, as there are few women in the field, and even fewer black females in the field,” said Tori. “Mr. Jensen inspired and motivated me to pursue my dreams.”

Tori graduated from Marian High School in 2017 and attended the University of Nebraska – Omaha (UNO), where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing (BS/BA).

She held internships at Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, Girls Inc., and was a Noyce Intern, which enabled her to be a Teacher’s Assistant at UNO in Calculus, along with tutoring various math classes at Metropolitan Community College.

She recalls that her freshman year of college was her most challenging academically, and she worked very hard the following three years to bring her GPA to a 3.52.

She believes in giving back to her neighborhood and is a volunteer at SPARKPositivity – an after-school program that teaches children the importance of living with compassion and kindness. This program creates a safe zone for many kids living in poverty where they are learning key life skills with positive role models.

As a result of her academic achievements and hard work, Tori has qualified for the master’s program at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL). Due to her specific interest, she plans on obtaining a master’s degree in Architecture at UNL, which she will begin in the fall of 2021. She encourages youth to follow their dreams and to work hard in pursuit of those dreams!