A 2016 graduate of Holland High School, Tanya attends the University of Michigan.

When Tanya was in the 6th grade her parents received a call from the principal recommending that she be part of a program for students whose testing showed academic potential.

That surprised Tanya. She hadn’t thought much about education, or what it might mean for her future to excel at it. And yet — that invitation opened doors for her that led her ultimately to dream of a college education, and to be the first in her family to do that.

Tanya credits her mother with nudging and prodding her toward excellence in school. Whenever she’d complain about how hard an assignment was, saying she didn’t think she could do it, her mother would say, “Tanya! Are you missing any fingers? Are you missing any part of your body? Then don’t make excuses. You can do it.”

Extra-curricular activities beckoned too. The list goes on and on for Tanya: Varsity tennis, youth groups at Central Wesleyan La Roca, PALS (Peer Assistance and Listening), National Honor Society, National Art Society. She was also a Holland Hospital Errand and Escort Volunteer and attended the National Student Leadership Conference at North Western University.

Tanya attended the University of Michigan’s Summer Bridge program which will help facilitate her entry into regular classes at the University of Michigan in the fall.

Celina Flegal, Holland HIgh Counselor, had this to say about Tanya:

“Tanya Pompa stands out among students. She is driven to succeed, serious about her education, personable, well-rounded and a kind caring young lady.”

Tanya’s career goals?

  • In the sixth grade Tanya did a project on possible careers. One of those she researched Pharmacist. The ones she met helped people navigate their prescription needs and could advise as well as dispense necessary medicines. All these years later — she is enrolled at the U of M seeking a major in Pharmacy because she sees appreciates the role of pharmacists as helping professionals.

What does the Holland/Zeeland Promise mean for Tanya?

“This scholarship relieves me of the scariest part of going to college, the financial debt I might have had. And also getting the scholarship felt like confirmation that I can believe that I will do good, that I will be successful!”

And Tanya’s advice for students who dream of a college education and face financial or other challenges?

“No matter how hard or how easy the work, give it your best effort.”

To learn more about the Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship, visit www.cfhz.org/hzpromise