Scholarships: Turning Dreams Into Reality

Focus 4 232x162JWU takes the issue of affordable higher education very seriously. Ninety-one percent of our students receive financial aid, 84% work part time to supplement financial aid and 34% report being first generation college students.

The need for support is great. Institutional Advancement works with individual donors, alumni and organizations to bring much-needed financial assistance to our students. Meet three who have been touched by their contributions.

Bank of America Scholarship Haitian native Ulysse Charles ’09 thought the dream of a private education was beyond his grasp. But he was drawn to JWU’s hospitality management program, the hands-on approach and chance to gain real-world experience while studying. “I’ve completed one of the best educational opportunities, almost purely through the generosity of others,” says Charles.

He leveraged academic, student life and experiential education opportunities. Bachelor’s degree in hand, Charles secured full-time employment with Sodexo, a global leader in food and facilities management services. “This Bank of America scholarship was a blessing. Beyond providing motivation to focus on my education and to be the best, it gave me the opportunity to share that when you excel in school, someone out there is looking to provide an education and a better life,” he says.

Denver General Scholarship, partly funded by the Coors Family Ryan Martinez ’12 literally walks through fire to help people. A volunteer firefighter for Colorado’s Saguache Fire Department, Martinez makes a difference in his hometown of 500 people. This criminal justice major’s goal of a career in law enforcement and passion to serve permeates everything. In high school, he participated in the national Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program, and now serves on JWU’s Orientation Leadership Team.

Saguache’s per capita income is $14,139, so financial resources for college are in short supply. Donors like Pete and Marilyn Coors have invested in Martinez’s dream of a degree. A profoundly grateful Martinez says, “This scholarship is amazing. Every dollar makes a difference, and I can’t thank my donors enough for giving me this opportunity.”

James H. Hance Jr. Scholarship
Can a scholarship change the destiny of a family? Victorina Meza ’11, from Concord, NC, says it can. Meza gravitated to JWU’s career-driven classes and faculty with industry experience. “I longed to attend this university, but the financial aspect would have made it incredibly difficult.” The first to attend college in her family, “my entire family will benefit from my education,” says the marketing major, “and through the better career path I’ll be able to take.”

The James H. Hance Jr. Scholarship was established by Bev and James Hance ’06 Hon., retired vice chairman and chief financial officer at Bank of America. Through the campus’ inaugural campaign he helped raise nearly $15 million, and became personally invested in the success of JWU and its students. Just ask Meza, who says, “The Hance Scholarship has made my dream to go to college come true.”