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News: First Roane State student chosen as DREAM Scholar shares her story

February 17, 2023

Eve speaking at conference

Eve Miclaus, a student at Roane State Community College, is one of only eight students from across the country selected as a 2023 DREAM Scholar by Achieving the Dream (ATD), a national nonprofit network of 300 institutions dedicated to advancing community colleges as hubs of equity and mobility.

Each year, ATD selects eight community college students to participate in an immersive learning experience at the organization’s annual conference, held February 14-17, 2023, in Chicago. Having been chosen through a rigorous application process, DREAM Scholars are outstanding students with diverse stories who bring their voices center stage and learn alongside higher education leaders throughout the conference.

Eve Miclaus

This year’s DREAM Scholars have all been told stories at some point in their lives — whether by family members, peers, teachers, or societal expectations — that they were not meant for higher education. But they are each determined to write a different story.

Miclaus grew up in an environment she describes as highly patriarchal, isolated, and sheltered. Despite being taught from a young age that she would never have an education or career, she became the first in her family to graduate college. This new chapter in her life has been challenging — having grown up homeschooled, she found interacting with new people difficult, and she entered higher education without a support system.

But Miclaus is determined to write a new story for herself. The first Roane State student to be honored as a DREAM Scholar, she is studying to become a chemical engineer and recently won Roane State’s General Chemistry Award.

Miclaus initially enrolled in Roane State’s Middle College program to take college courses while still in high school and she received a scholarship from Roane State Foundation during both academic years. She works in the RSCC Learning Center as a tutor in Chemistry, Speech, and Math.

She has also had the opportunity to speak to Roane State’s President’s Cabinet, a group comprised of college administrators who meet weekly to discuss issues important to the campus community. Miclaus said addressing the leadership group was an opportunity that helped her see the difference she can make for her college and for the world.

Miclaus plans to pursue a career in chemical engineering that allows her to help preserve the planet. She is also working to start her own eco-friendly candle company. She says her new story is about finding success through perseverance and creating opportunities for support and connection in her college community.

“I believe human connections and empowering one another are two of the most important things us humans need," she said. "It makes us all more likely to succeed. We are stronger together.”

Miclaus and her fellow scholars addressed the more than 300 attendees at the DREAM Conference on February 15. Roane State President Chris Whaley said Miclaus "touched every heart in the room during her 'I am' speech.”

"I will succeed - there is no other choice," she said.

Additional details about RSCC’s Eve Miclaus and the other students chosen as DREAM Scholars for 2023 are available at

More information on Achieving the Dream can be found online at

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