Space-loving engineer builds rockets at USC

Madeline Koldos is on a path to becoming an engineer, thanks to winning scholarships that allowed her to afford college. (USC Photo/Eric Lindberg) As a kid, Madeline Koldos devoured library books on space.

Space-loving engineer builds rockets at USC

As a kid, Madeline Koldos devoured library books on space. And she couldn’t get enough of science shows on TV like The Magic School Bus.

Koldos visited her dad at his job as a tool maker, watching him operate a drill press. In his spare time, he fixed old cars. And her mom? She was the only woman in her electrical engineering program when she graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso.

With great grades from a science and technology magnet high school, Koldos seemed destined to become an engineer. If not for a big stumbling block: her family’s finances.

‘I didn’t know how I would get to college because we didn’t have a college fund,’ she said. ‘I definitely never thought private schools would be accessible to low-income students. I thought that was another world that was just too expensive.’

That’s when she found out about QuestBridge. The nonprofit program finds highly talented low-income students and helps them apply to prestigious colleges. In return, the colleges agree to provide financial aid to any QuestBridge students they admit. Koldos applied and was accepted. That paved her way to the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, with generous support from the university’s endowment that covers much of her tuition and other expenses.

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Space-loving engineer builds rockets at USC
Apr 02nd, 2018 15:12 UTC USC News

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