Skip To Main Content

Balancing Family, Scholarships, and Dreams of Soaring High

Balancing Family, Scholarships, and Dreams of Soaring High

Giselle “Gigi” Macias-Jaime `24 had a big decision to make.

Not only did she apply to six institutions, but she was awarded Ohio State University’s acclaimed Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship, which is only given to 176 Ohio students, and invited to be a Klimczak Scholar in the highly selective Business Honors Program at Notre Dame.

But for Gigi, family comes first.

“I’ve worked hard during my three years at Country Day and want to go to a school with the same academic rigor,” says Gigi. “But I wanted to wait until I heard from all of the colleges I’ve applied to so I could review all my options with my family. I knew they would be incredibly supportive of any decision I made but I have these opportunities because of them so their opinions matter. This decision is about my family; it’s not just about me.”

Gigi admits she was very tactful with her decision about where to apply, and Ohio State University (OSU) and Notre Dame are among her top choices.

Notre Dame has a very competitive business program, for which she was offered a scholarship, and the school is also a Catholic institution, another aspect of her life that is very important to her and her family. But she accepted the offer from OSU, where she plans on majoring in aviation and minoring in entrepreneurship and aviation. “My parents have told me it's always good to have a Plan B and both aviation and business are things I'm passionate about and would love to pursue.”  

Ultimately, Gigi wants to be a pilot. Although her why is layered. “I love planes; that technology is so fascinating and there are still a lot of advancements to be made, but beyond that, there is deep meaning for me. My parents came to America from Mexico by themselves when they were teenagers. I can’t even imagine. And we never went on vacation when I was younger – they were always working so hard. Because of their business [her parents are restauranteurs, among other things], we were always restricted to one place and a lot of my identity is rooted in that lifestyle. In the past few years, their business has become more successful so we were able to start traveling more. The joy and awe of travel inspired a passion in me to explore the world. It's beautiful and it's a privilege.”

Gigi says she is very aware of and grateful for the sacrifices her parents made. “My parents worked so hard to offer me and my five siblings a better quality of life, and now I have limitless potential through opportunities like attending college; it’s a manifestation of what has previously limited me.”

With Gigi, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Her efforts, involvement, and energy seem to know no bounds. Not only is she involved in student council as the head of diversity and inclusion, but she is also a board member of EDI Council, attended the Student Leadership Diversity Conference as a school representative, was inducted into Cum Laude Society, operated as the team manager for lacrosse, played tennis and basketball, and has participated in cross country for all three years – leading as co-captain this year.

If that’s not enough, she spends most of her spare time at the restaurants with her family. “I've always helped them because I know how much they work. Also, it's something I'm good at and enjoy; it's taught me a lot about leadership and professionalism. It takes time away from school and my friends but I've gained a lot from it and I'm grateful for it.”

Gratitude seems to be a common theme for Gigi right now. Even though she has worked hard to get where she is, she is still incredibly grateful and seems almost surprised when the world swings her way.

“Being offered the OSU scholarship completely caught me by surprise. They offer it to a very select number of students and it's an honor. I’ve been working so hard to do my best in school and seeing that work come to fruition…seeing the effort of my parents, who worked so hard to send me to an independent school…I was jumping up and down and crying.”

For Gigi, the sky’s the limit.