Associated Bank recently awarded Lily Rawson, a student at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, with a $2,500 “Good Fit” scholarship for writing about what a good fit meant for her when choosing her college. Rawson is from Washburn, Wisconsin.

The scholarship money will be paid directly to her university for the 2014-2015 school year to help with tuition, fees, books and supplies expenses.

This scholarship was awarded to only eight students out of nearly 800 entries throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. Recipients were chosen based on their ability to creatively express why their university is a good fit.

“The ability to provide these students with scholarships is something that Associated takes pride in,” said Krystel Dunlavy, senior bank manager, Associated Bank. “It not only reinforces our local involvement and dedication to the Washburn community, but it also helps us to assist our customers with the high cost of education, making it more affordable for them to secure their good fit.”

The scholarship application process provided students the opportunity to not only describe why they have found a good fit at their university, but also to reward them for their abilities to tell their story on the journey to finding their good fit. Associated believes that finding this fit is imperative to the students’ success because it will also help lead them to the path of their perfect career.

At Associated, a good fit is giving customers all the advice and financial services they need, in one place. For Rawson, it means finding her uncomfortable fit. “Two weeks into my freshman year, I was waiting for the model in my Drawing 103 class,” said Rawson. “I was sweating. My palms were sticky and I was ready to simply leave the room; I felt that uncomfortable.”

However, even given her dramatically uncomfortable state in that drawing class, she realized it was precisely where she needed to be. “Had I not been uncomfortable, I never would have been pushed to make the changes which have lead me to the place I am today,” said Rawson. “Uncomfortable, is precisely the best fit I could have asked for, though I did not know it at the time.”

Rawson believes that “A good fit is not something that allows a stagnant and comfortable environment. A good fit is one that fosters change.” She thinks it should challenge and stretch the individual to reach new potential. “This is precisely what my university did for me,” said Rawson.

Both the English and fine arts department encouraged her exploration of reaching this potential. “They allowed me to do cross disciplinary projects that combined visual and written arts,” said Rawson. “The flexibility and encouragement that I received from faculty led me to study in both departments to obtain my bachelors in fine arts and English.”

Finding her good fit has inspired her passion for teaching. With her education at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, she anticipates teaching sculptural practices at the university level. “I hope that I can share with other students the kind of education given to me; one that is challenging, uncomfortable, and one that will ultimately, foster change,” said Rawson.

“It was my honor to award this scholarship to Lily for her dedication to finding her perfect fit,” said Dunlavy. “We know what good fit means to us, and it’s great that she was able to find that in her university. Congratulations Lily!”