Scholarships give students needed funds to pay for educational expenses, but they often end up being about more than money. For students like Julie Martinez, Andrew Terry, Grace Kinnicutt, and Ryan Hickenbottom, donor-funded scholarships offer encouragement, purpose, and drive. Read what receiving a scholarship has meant to Julie, Andrew, Grace, and Ryan.
“What I love most about my major is how much the program reiterates the importance of inclusion in the classroom. Growing up in a predominately white classroom, I felt like an outcast, and it affected my active involvement in the classroom. I want my future students to feel included. I’m a first-generation college student so receiving my scholarship gave me validation. I know now all of my hard work is paying off.”
“I came to nursing by way of the trades and emergency medical services, so I am not a traditional student. Being a nurse will allow me to further my medical knowledge; have more authority and access to provide patient care; and will provide me a career that also fits with my values of family time, personal growth, and development. Receiving this scholarship was a true honor and an unexpected gift. The news was a real boost to my morale. It has taken years of planning, preparation, and coordination with my family to arrive at the place where nursing school felt possible. Now I know that I’m on the right track. Thank you.”
“I’m an introvert, but I love the connection I am able to make with others through journalism and the networking opportunities it brings. When I received my scholarship, I was ecstatic. The announcement came during a really low point in my life. I was struggling mentally due to suddenly being switched to online courses and cut off from physically seeing my peers and professors. I felt like I was just getting by. The announcement really put me in a great mood. I wasn’t sure what my life would be like stepping onto ISU’s campus four years ago. I was just a shy 19-year-old who didn’t know what she wanted to do in journalism. I’ve always been a big believer that hard work pays off, and it truly does.”
“I’ve always had a passion for business in general, but the one key area that always stood out to me was sales. I love the challenge of trying to pitch a product to a potential investor or consumer. Receiving my scholarship changed my life. The amount of stress and pressure it has relieved is indescribable. For many years, I worked two jobs and saving as much as I could, knowing someday I would have to pay for college. This opportunity has given me the chance to enjoy my time at ISU rather than trying to balance a work life and a school life. I hope one day I can also give back and change someone’s life like my donor has changed mine.”
Are you ready to make a difference in the life of a student like Julie, Andrew, Grace, and Ryan?
- Select your giving designation from a list of established funds that support our Redbirds.
- Identify your passion. Search giving opportunities by college or unit.
- Make a gift by including Illinois State in your long-term financial or estate plan. Explore your options and learn about the benefits of a bequest commitment.
- Connect with a fundraising staff member, who can answer your questions and point you in the right direction.