Kiera McNeill, Class of 2019

Kiera McNeill

Good Afternoon! It has been wonderful to meet you and share this lunch with you today. My name is Kiera McNeill, and I’m a junior at USD from Dallas, Texas.

When I was younger, I always dreamed of living on the West Coast and building a life in the state filled with sun and opportunity. I had a deal with my parents to apply to half schools at which I would receive in-state tuition and half schools in California. This deal, which I’m sure you can guess, was based upon the amount of financial aid I was able to receive. USD immediately stood out as a place that was willing to assist students in achieving their goals. I’m so proud and grateful to have the chance to attend USD, which is made possible by people like you who support the studies and futures of students like me.

I am also honored to be a part of the USD Choral Scholars for my third year, which is another major reason why I chose USD. The collegiate choral group has introduced me to some of my best friends, as well as my academic advisor. This year, I have enjoyed serving on the executive board of Choral Scholars as Budget Officer. As someone who fell in love with choir in sixth grade, I always hoped to keep music in my life as I got older. At USD, I can do that and receive aid towards my education. In fact, being a part of Choral Scholars inspired me to pursue a double major in Music and Business Economics. I hope to use this major combination as an analyst in the entertainment industry when I graduate.

This year, I am the treasurer of the professional music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon. One of my goals is to grow this organization and inspire more people to continue their love of the arts in college, which is a time when many people abandon this love in pursuit of a more “realistic” career path. I hope to show students that a double major is possible and fulfilling. In addition to these things, I am one of the work-study student employees in the Department of Music. Work-study has allowed me to grow my professional skills while learning the logistics of concerts, marketing, and professional cooperation. I feel so lucky to have a job assisting a department that includes many of my professors, mentors, and friends.

The Bridges Academy Endowed Scholarship and others within USD’s generous financial aid awards have supported me in contributing to the community of this campus, as well as in preparing for my future. Thank you so much for this opportunity.