Freshman Chosen for Opportunity Scholarship

Joseph Dingman '13 has been chosen to receive one of 10 inaugural Opportunity Scholarships of $1,000, which are renewable each year.

The scholarships were awarded by the Center for Student Opportunity to students who are first-generation college attendees and/or from underserved populations.

In addition to the financial award, Dingman will join the nine other scholarship winners as contributors to the Opportunity Scholars blog at All of them will be sharing their insights on the college process and experiences with the transition to college.

"I find myself forever trying to consciously avoid the numerous distractions and nervous about whether I'm really smart enough for all of this," Dingman wrote in his first blog post.

"We were very impressed by Joe and we look forward to following him closely because he is truly a role model from whom we can all learn," said Cara Martin, associate executive director of the Bethesda, Maryland-based Center for Student Opportunity. Dingman was selected out of a pool of about 400 applicants.

"Joe is a special young man," said Joe Tavares, a CSO project director. "He's from a very rural area in Colorado. He comes from very humble beginnings, but has done some very significant work. He's really into politics, and got involved at a very early age. One of his letters of recommendation was from a state representative who talked about a very passionate speech Joe gave in front of the governor.... He's an amazing college freshman to us, who demonstrated extraordinary persistence and determination to pursue a higher education."

The Center for Student Opportunity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting higher education opportunities for first-generation and other historically underserved college-bound students. The CSO intends, over the next several years, to become a nationally recognized clearinghouse of information on local, regional, and national programs that assist such students with college guidance, preparation, and admission. CSO will also serve as a conduit between students and colleges and universities that have targeted first-generation and underserved students for admission. For more information, go to