How a Scholarship Changed My Life: Greta’s Story

(Courtesy Greta Twombly)
Greta Twombly, a 2010 graduate, received a partial scholarship to attend GW. (Courtesy Greta Twombly)

When Greta Twombly, CCAS BA ’10, was applying to college, she honed in on schools that could provide a different experience than her home town in Cape Cod, MA.

With her heart set on a city school, Twombly visited several campuses along the East Coast—and as soon as she visited GW, something clicked. “I just felt at home—it was the perfect balance of city and campus, and I could feel the sense of community,” she explains.

So Twombly took a risk and applied early decision to GW, knowing that if she didn’t receive financial assistance, she’d need to find another way to support herself. “I knew I had to go to GW, no matter what,” she says.

Like many high school students across the country, Twombly waited for an admissions letter.  When hers arrived, she learned that not only had she gotten into GW, but she had also been awarded a Presidential Academic Scholarship, which would cover part of her tuition expenses.

“It was,” remembers Twombly, “the best thing that could have happened. Immediately, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders—it was such a welcoming feeling.”

Twombly resolved to make the most of this newfound flexibility. A member of numerous student groups, including the College Democrats and the Student Association, Twombly became an integral part of the community that she had been drawn to when she first visited GW.

During her junior and senior years, she was able to take a position with GW’s admissions office, where she felt passionate about promoting the university. “The scholarship gave me time to really get involved in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise,” Twombly says.

Through numerous internships, she also capitalized on the urban location that had been a driving force in her college search.

“When I came to GW, I knew I wanted to do something political, but I didn’t know what,” says Twombly. By interning on the Hill, at a non-profit and for a political campaign, the poli-sci major had the opportunity to explore her interests and figure out what might work in the long run.

Today, you’ll find that Twombly is still following those interests; after graduation, she worked on political campaigns for four years in various locations around the country. Last year, she moved back to DC, where she’s the campaigns manager for the American Sustainable Business Council.

In addition to guiding her towards a career path, GW also gave Twombly valuable friendships and peers—she still talks to many of them on a daily basis. Later this year, a group of them will reunite during a visit to Washington State’s San Juan Islands.

Twombly is also an active member of the GW alumni community, working with the DC Young Alumni Network’s events committee—just one example of how much her student experience meant to her.

“I feel so fortunate to have been able to attend GW, and my time there was an amazing four years,” she explains. “It truly is a community that can foster any interest, passion or dream.”

–Melissa Nyman

–Thanks so much to Greta Twombly for sharing her story. Did a scholarship change your life at GW? We want to hear about it! Send an e-mail to:

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