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Student Impact Stories

Thank you for all you do for CWU. Read below to hear what these Central students have to say about receiving support from donors like you.

Impact Stories  |  Donor Stories

Lauren King (2019) “I am a senior this year majoring in biology with the trajectory of becoming a large animal veterinarian. After being in college for 3 years, I found I have a love and passion for science that extends beyond the classroom. I cannot wait to move on to graduate school! I have had my fair share of financial strain growing up. Horses and riding have always been my rock. Last month my horse suffered a major leg injury, and as we all know, vet bills pile up. Needless to say, this donation will help me immensely with tuition next year.”

Leni Halaapiapi (2019) "Thank you so much for providing me the opportunity to explore South Africa. If it weren't for your scholarship, I would have not gained the valuable connections that I have now."

 

 

Jose Guzman (2019) “By awarding me the Olive Irelan Scholarship, you have made my financial burden a little less to worry about. Your generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community. I have recently been elected as president of the CWU LatinX Club which promotes professionalism in the students’ career field. I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals just as you have helped me.”

Alejandra Cerna (2019) “It is a privilege to be a recipient of the Gary R. Hansen Scholarship. I am the oldest of five siblings and thanks to this scholarship, I am the first in my family to attend college. I come from a migrant family that works in the fields to provide for our family. Seeing my parents work hard so that my siblings and I can get a higher education than what they received motivates me to try harder and make them proud.”

Andrew McDonald (2019) “It was a great honor for me to receive this award. This scholarship will help to support me and my education at Central Washington University while I pursue a bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Geography. I am also minoring in Russian. I have a goal to study abroad for a quarter to further my understanding of the Russian language but saving the money for the trip was proving difficult. This scholarship will help me greatly in that endeavor, and I am extremely grateful for that. After being awarded this scholarship I have learned a little bit about your husband, his achievements, and why he is the namesake for this award. He sounds like an impressive man who accomplished many things in his life and I wish that I could have met him.”

Madison Vanassche (2019) “I will be majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance during my time at CWU. I am excited to use the skills and knowledge that I will learn to further the grow the business that my family owns and to open a business of my own. I am on track to graduate in the Spring of 2020 with my bachelor's degree. During my time at CWU, I will embrace every opportunity that comes my way and I am eager to be an active member on the CWU Rodeo Team. I will continue to work for Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital with their Ellensburg branch while I am attending school. With the help of this scholarship, I will be able to dive into my studies and compete on the rodeo team.”

Kendra Ellsworth (2019) “My goal after graduating Central with my major in Elementary Education and my minor in Teaching English as a Second Language is to go back to school and get my master’s degree to ensure that my future students receive the best education they can get. I am excited to have my own classroom one day and this scholarship is helping me reach this goal.”

Drew Neuser (2019) “I am so happy that I ended up at this amazing university. Being a student with severe anxiety, the grades I made in high school were not that great. I got rejected from several colleges because of the grades I had received when I felt like I was dying. Central Washington saw the potential that I had and gave me the opportunity to improve myself. I cannot be more grateful for the education I am receiving, especially with the help of amazing people such as yourself. I am now majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Cyber Security. I hope to someday work at Google. I want to be successful enough to help my family pay off college debt, and then help students who have dealt with similar situations get through college. I want to make future students as happy as I did when I saw that I received this scholarship. Thank you for not only helping me through college, but also inspiring me to help others.”

Sara Sahlinger (2019) “I chose Central Washington University for my Bachelor’s degree because I have always loved this school and the teachers who work there, ever since I did Running Start, were amazing. I selected my major of General Psychology with a minor in Human Resource Management because I want to work as a human resource specialist and eventually consider either taking a program to become a Human Resources Manager or work on a masters in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. My plans for the future are to get my major and minor at Central and to work as a human resource person in either a college or a company for a few years. It would be amazing if I could come back to work at Central at some point after graduating. In the meantime, I will continue to manage and work at the thrift store I work at now and to keep an eye out for an office job as I feel like that will help me be able to have more of a connection with getting into human resources.”

Joseph Key (2019) “I chose Central Washington University because of its affordability and excellence in teaching. I will begin attending Central Washington University this coming Fall. I selected a major in Mechanical Engineering Technology because I have always enjoyed designing devices and finding solutions to mechanical problems. After graduation, I plan to seek employment here in Eastern Washington (one of my preferred jobs would be to work at the Wanapum hydroelectric dam). After working for some time, I plan to pursue a Master of Architecture degree. My long-term career goal is to become a licensed architect who works on various building projects around the world. Perhaps, If I one day become financially successful, I might be able to give back and help other college students achieve their dreams.”

Amelia McIntosh (2019) “I have dreamed of becoming an educator ever since I was a child, and my love for language, literature, and writing paired perfectly with this goal. Since coming to Central Washington University, I have both reaffirmed my decision to pursue a career in education, and refined and expanded my love for literature and language. As I approach my final year as a university student, I am more excited than ever to share this love and passion with future generations of students. Your scholarship alleviates some of the financial uncertainty that comes with being a university student, allowing me to prioritize my education and give me my best chance and becoming an effective and well-rounded teacher. I am so grateful that you not only see the value in a study abroad experience, but you also recognize its importance to me. With your help, one of my dreams is coming true.”

 

Gregory Eggleston (2019)  “As I said before I am double majoring in music education and violin performance with the goal of becoming a music teacher. In high school, I had a new orchestra teacher every year and the orchestra program suffered because of it. This has inspired me to become a teacher and be someone who is there for the students and is stable and not going to leave and bounce around from school to school. Long term I am not sure if I would prefer teaching at a university level or a k-12 level so some decisions are still yet to be made. Nevertheless, I am still determined and will work hard to achieve my goals.”

 

Tegan Kimbro (2019) “Growing up in Idaho I was always outside (as there is not a whole lot else to do), but when I wasn't climbing mountains I was drawing. As I grew up there was always voices that discouraged pursuing art and I tried to find other interests. I was extremely lucky to attend a New Tech Network high school, Compass Academy. The school was project based learning and they equipped every student with a laptop and the Adobe Creative Cloud. This is when I finally found my medium of choice -- digital art. Although I had my time to play on the Creative Cloud, I still have much to learn and Central Washington University will help facilitate that. I plan to major in graphic design. I am thinking, but not decided, that I will minor in Apparel, Textiles, and Design or Advertising. Both of these could provide awesome opportunities and open many career paths. During my time at CWU, I also hope to study abroad in Australia. In general, I hope to travel, learn, and create.

 

Jessica Fleming (2019) “I grew up in the small town of Sultan and have been inspired by my teachers from a young age to pursue a career in elementary education. Before I attend CWU, I received my Associates Degree from Everett Community College. While attending EvCC, I took several education classes and volunteer in classrooms. Both of those experiences further solidified my desire to become an elementary teacher. One of my favorite activities outside of school is volleyball. During the school year I play intramural volleyball at CWU, and when I am home I help my mom coach her 5th grade volleyball team. I plan on coaching volleyball in my future as well.”

 

Alexys Wright (2019) “I am from Atlanta, Georgia and the first person in my family who will have a formal education. Before CWU, I attended Pierce Community College where I was able to receive my Direct Transfer Associates degree (DTA) for the education program at CWU. In my spare time, I like to read books accompanied by a movie so I can compare the two. I chose CWU because I felt their education program was what I was looking. They also are affordable and have both online and in-seat classes that fit my schedule. I chose the teaching major because I have a passion for community. What better way to give back to your community than being a teacher. A teacher can sometimes be the one person to encourage students to strive for their goals and give them the confidence to do so.”

Carmen Valera (2019) “I’m a first-generation student from Ellensburg, Washington. I did not leave my home-town forcollege like I wanted to initially due to my financial circumstance at that time but I do not regret attending Central Washington University. I networked extremely hard and tried my best to be recruited by a firm in Seattle or anywhere else besides Central Washington area and with hard work, I did just that. I am currently an Embark Intern at KPMG which is one of the big fours! I attended their Future Diversity Leadership conference last year where I learned more about the firm’s culture, vision, and all the opportunities within the workplace. If all goes well, I will be returning next summer to do my practice internship in the audit practice and hopefully be offered a full-time position upon graduation.”

 

Marcos De Mendonca (2019) “I plan on completing my sociology major, my minor in law and justice, and my minor in human resource management. Hopefully, I may use my academic achievements for either ranking up in the military or ranking up in a police department if I am able to fully heal, this was my plan since I started college. Thank you once again for your generous support from your organization! I am truly grateful.”

 

Ala Mustafa (2019) "I come from a small village in Palestine, and I moved to the US for better educational opportunities. Before coming to CWU, I was a law student in Bir Zeit University but living in occupied territories made my educational journey very hard. I chose to come to CWU because I am a minority, and it is a school that welcomes people from all different backgrounds and cultures. When I was deciding on what school to join, the Arabic description about the school immediately caught my attention. I decided to major at Central in political science because it is related to what I have studied back home.

 

Avery Coffin (2019) “I was so blessed to get the opportunity to come to Central and pursue my dreams to become a registered dietitian. It hasn’t been the easiest journey financially so I really cannot thank you enough. I remain incredibly busy on campus with full time school, the equestrian team, staying healthy at the gym, and managing to work part time. With this donation I plan on using this to help get through my senior year here at Central where I am majoring in nutrition and specializing in dietetics. After graduating I await to be matched for an internship where I will finish with a masters and take state boards to get my license. My long term career goals after getting my license is to hopefully manage my own practice one day or work side by side in a joint business with my fiancé who is pursuing chiropractic.”

 

 

Christine Dunlap (2019): “As a non-traditional student, with a family of my own, returning to school has not always seemed feasible. After much support from my husband and my two children, I have decided to pursue my dream of becoming an artist at Central Washington University. The financial aid you awarded will greatly assist my educational expenses and benefit the future of my career as an artist. Thank you again for your generosity and support. I am fully committed and excited to start on my proposed project focused on exploring the “Hidden Self” in connection with 19th-century literature.”

Brian Eaves (2019): “I originally chose Central because of its proximity to home however, at Central I fell in love with all that the College of Business had to offer. A business degree is one of the most flexible and versatile degrees that you can get and would allow me to work at almost any company in the world. Once I graduate I would love to use the skills acquired with my Supply Chain Management and Economics degrees to work at The Boeing Company, which I had the opportunity to intern at this summer and thoroughly enjoyed and hope to return to.”

Linden Elggren (2019): “This will be my third year of attending Central Washington University. I have gained so much from my experience already and am grateful that I am able to continue my studies there. I chose to attend CWU because of the great music department and its reputation for music education. I am studying music education and plan on teaching music at an elementary school upon my graduation. I hope to use it as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of my students and encourage and support them in their dreams and goals. As I continue my studies I will take every chance to expand my teaching skills and experience so I will be well-prepared for my future students. CWU offers many opportunities to volunteer for various music and teaching activities.”

Valerie Patrick (2018): I wanted to start by saying thank you so very much for this scholarship. I am overjoyed, and I feel extremely grateful and honored. I take my education very seriously and I am determined to get my accounting degree and my CPA license. This scholarship reminded me that I have a huge support base backing me on my goal to becoming a CPA. Not only do I have amazing professors who help me by teaching me what I need to know to be successful, but I also have giving donors who are aiding me with a scholarship to support my education and recognizing my hard work and determination of becoming a CPA. This scholarship is going to help counteract the money I am spending on summer school credits for my internship as a tax intern at an accounting firm called Clark Nuber in Bellevue, Washington. Having to earn an extra 45 credits to be able to be CPA certified is completely worth it, but paying for that extra 45 credits brings along additional stress and struggles. That is why I am so thankful for this scholarship and why being awarded it was such a huge push to keep working hard towards my goal.

Marybel Santiago (2018): “My decision to attend Central Washington University YakimaCampus was an easy choice not only for the close distance to home, but for its quality of educational standards this university upholds. With this said, I knew that all the sacrifices I was making for my education were something I wanted to use to empower other young minds like myself, which is why I chose the Elementary Education path. As an Elementary Education major, my goal is to empower all students but specifically the students in Toppenish and the Yakima Valley. I want to empower them to become educated in a world that sometimes dehumanizes the right to be educated and the right to uphold values and standards for minorities. As a future educator, I dream to not only empower the young minds, but the minds of the human race to make the world a better place.”

 

Andrea Scolari (2018): “A scholarship is often an “investment” in people, so I would love to share a bit about myself to paint a better picture of who you chose to invest in! I was born and raised in Port Orchard, WA., a small town just across the Puget Sound from Seattle. I had my early education at a private Christian school, before my mother decided to homeschool me from the second grade on. I was in love with homeschooling and all its associated aspects, including going to class in pajamas, having lunch whenever I felt like it, and getting quizzed on the multiplication table while jumping on the trampoline. Given this, it was quite the unwelcome shock when I went into the public school system for 6th grade. However, though the transition was tumultuous, going to public school helped me discover that I wanted to become a teacher. Now, I am studying to become a math teacher, aiming to teach in either middle school or high school. A major in Secondary Math and a minor in STEM education will allow me to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in 2019, and if I choose to go directly into the workforce, it is possible that I will be teaching math to Washington’s students just over a year from now. Since I will only be 19 when I graduate, however, I am contemplating the idea of earning my master’s degree in education before I leave to teach. Whichever goal I choose to pursue, I feel confident that it can be achieved!”

Savannah Vercruysse (2018): “I chose to attend Central Washington University afterWashington State University because of the warm home feeling and beautiful campus. The moment I stepped on campus and drove through town I knew this is where I was meant to be. I selected to go into Law and Justice Program because I enjoy learning about the culture and want to work within law enforcement. My future plans are to get into the criminal investigation side of law enforcement once I graduate and or continue on to get my masters with an emphasis in forensics.”

Yesenia Villanueva (2018): “I was born in South Central Los Angeles but moved to Washington when I was three months old; Washington has been home to my family and I ever since. Growing up in a low-income community I quickly realized education was my way out of that environment. I have always looked out for others and helped those in need. I believe those qualities led me to find my passion at a young age -- becoming a law enforcement officer. I knew going to college would be a difficult possibility due to financial issues, but with hard work and my families support I knew I would be able to accomplish that dream. I enrolled in Running Start in high school to save money and get a head start on college. I took school very seriously and would push myself to not only work two jobs during school but to always get A's and B's. During my senior year I toured Central Washington University and fell in love with the campus and the Law and Justice Department. Even now going into my senior year, I have not regretted my decision to attend Central. I am currently involved in the Law and Justice Club, Casa Latina, and the First-Generation Organization.”

Alberto Tafoya (2018): “I decided to attend Central Washington University because it wasbest choice for me where I can be a student and an athlete at an affordable price. I chose my major of Clinical Physiology because I want to become a Physician’s assistant. Once I graduate I plan to get into a physician’s assistant program and then look for employment where I would be able to help people the most.”

 

 

Jia Song (2018): “I come from Beijing, China. I am now second-year graduate student in Computational Science. I have completed the majority of the core courses in my first-year graduate study, and I am focusing on final thesis/project in the following quarters. The topic of this thesis/project is probably related to handwriting characters recognition.”

 

 

Julia Penwell(2018): “This school year will mark my third and final year atCentralWashington University. I plan to graduate Spring 2019 with both a B.S. in Business Administration specializing in Personal Financial Planning, a B.S. in Economics specializing in Business Analytics and Forecasting and a minor in Accounting. Following my graduation, I plan to sit for the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) exam and pursue a career in personal financial planning. My intent in this career path is to not only help individuals plan for major financial occurrences in their life but to specifically work with millennials in this facet. One of my many goals is to find ways to increase the financial literacy of those in my generation. I hope that in doing this I am able to help this younger generation foster a relaxed and healthy relationship with their finances rather than feeling intimidated or trapped by them.”

Traisa Newcomb (2018): “I graduated from high school and community college in 2017, so going into this academic year, I will be a senior who is turning 20 years old. As a younger student who is soon to be going into student teaching, I intend to teach back home in the community that gave so much to me, at any primary level offered. At Central Washington University, I also play on the club soccer team and work in the Recreation Center part time as well. My best friends and I enjoy making dinners after long days, but most of the time it goes wrong, so then we eat ice cream. I have known I have wanted to be a teacher since I was five years old. Since the moment my little sister was born, my mom always reminds me of how I took her into my room and played "school" with her almost every day. When I hear that Central's education program was amongst the top 25 in the nation, it was the most obvious choice.”

Marivel Nevarez (2018): “Your support really means a lot to me, not only as a student, butalso as a person. As a first-generation student, it has been hard to not be able to go to your parents for advice when it comes to college. Regardless of being a first-generation student, I have found a lot of academic support within my university. Through great companies and organizations, such as Coca Cola, myself and many of my peers have been able to live our dreams to the fullest. My parents came to the United States from Mexico about twenty-five years ago. A lot of people say that many people come to the United States with the “American Dream” in mind. Today, I can say with certainty that my parents did not come to live the American Dream. They came here so that I could one day live the American Dream. Through hard work and dedication, they have taught me that I can achieve and accomplish my wildest dreams. That I can dream high without anything holding me down. With scholarships like the Coca-Cola First-Generation Scholarship I can see my dreams closer and more obtainable as the obstacle that money often creates is lessened.”

Shawn Madigan (2018): “I chose Central Washington University to pursue this degree because I know that CWU is an outstanding school for developing and molding students into professional educators. My achievements at Central Washington University include consistently making the Dean's List every quarter, participating in SOURCE with a clean energy engineering project, and entering a new teaching program that will allow me to get in the classroom and get hands on experience teaching students. Your scholarship is going to help me pursue my bachelor's degrees in middle level math teaching and middle level science teaching with a STEM teaching minor. My plans are to continue my development as an educator by reading current education literature and to continue to take education courses. One of my long-term career goals is to win a teacher of the year award starting a district level and eventually on a state wide or national level. I plan to do this through building relationships with my students and community.”

Samantha LaRue (2018): “One of my proudest moments was when I earned my black beltthe American Colleges of Mixed Martial Arts before graduating from high school. However, I really enjoy helping others and giving back. I love to develop work out plans for my friends and volunteer as much time as I can at my martial arts school. I have been an athlete all my life and am proud to be a strong woman. I have always had a hunger to learn and grow. In support of being a student-athlete thrower on the CWU Track and Field Team, I am very focused on getting good grades. I like structures and organization but show my imaginative side by creating promotional videos for the CWU Fellowship of Christian Athletes group. I also get a chance to communicate dynamically while signing in pursuit of my American Sign Language Minor. I will be starting my junior year at Central Washington University in the fall and am looking forward to the upper level classes required for my Psychology Major.”

Charles Courtney (2018): “Were it not for Central Washington University, I would not exist, and I would not be writing this letter to you. My parents met at CWU back in 1993. They were married in 1996, and I was born in 1999. I won’t bore you with all the details but the fact still remains that without CWU, they would never have met, and I would never have been born. I owe my life to this school, just as much as I owe my future prosperity to this school and now to you.”

Alexa Shindruk (2018): “I have loved my time at Central Washington University so far. I run cross country and track and field for the Wildcats, and I am active in many clubs on campus including the Accounting club, the Environmental club, and Spanish club. I plan to graduate from Central in June 2020 with a major in Accounting and a minor in Spanish. After that, I plan to take my CPA exam and begin working in the field of public accounting. I am not sure where the future will lead me, but I plan to use the drive and determination to accomplish change in the world.”

 

Daniella Przedwojews (2018): I know my time at Central has prepared me for a successful future in teaching and I hope I will have a long and prosperous career. Within the next few years I would like to travel abroad while teaching, at the moment, I hope to be going into the Peace Corps. Long-term I want to be at a school, domestic or abroad, where I have a good relationship with my students and we are successful as a classroom and school.

 

Vy Dam (2018): "I chose CWU because of the great Safety and Health Management program it offers. I have decided to major in Safety and Health Management because of the amazing impact it has on society, as it is about prevention. I have always wanted to contribute to the community where I live and to give back to society, so I believe this mahor is the best fit for me. All of my advisors and instructors have been very enthusiastic in helping me to achieve my goals."

 

Samaria Roberts (2018): "I’ve learned so much in my time at CWU, I’ve gained friends that will be around for a lifetime, I’ve met some amazing staff and professors that truly show what passion looks like, and I’ve had amazing opportunities that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. I’ve had the great opportunity to be an RA on campus, work closely with the chemistry department, and speak to ROTC recruiters that are so supportive in helping me start the Air Force program in the fall. My mother spoke so highly of central as I was applying, and after a poor encounter with another university I could not be more grateful to take her advice and be at CWU this last year and the years to come."

 

Erika Laulainen (2018): "In the fall I will be a Sophomore pursuing a major BFA in Theatre Education and minoring in Dance Education. Being in both the theatre and dance department at Central, I have long rehearsal hours that make it hard to have a job that would help cover college expenses. Having a scholarship that covers a decent part of my tuition allows me to focus soley on my studies and suceeding in my degree. For example, this past year I was in Central Theatre Ensemble's Ghostlight production of  Distracted,  I was the stage manager for a show in Short Works Festival, presented at SOURCE with the dance department, and stage managed a student organized production that was performed for the Ellensburg community at Old Skools. In addition, to the performances I have been a part of this past year, I made it on Honor Roll each quarter."

 

Nancy Sanchez (2018): “I am so excited to be finishing up my college degrees and finally being able to apply my knowledge and skills that I have gained through my courses to the real world. I plan on working for Child Protective Services and I also plan to attend    graduate school for my master's in social work. I currently work as a student employee at the Sociology Department at Central Washington University, but since I will be finishing this summer, I have been applying to open positions at the DSHS office, with CPS, and other non-profit organizations. I cannot wait to help children who have been neglected and abused and help guide them to the correct and appropriate setting. This has been one of my dream jobs to provide and advocate for those in need and now that I am getting experience and an opportunity to do it, it's truly wonderful.”

 

Colton Brown (2018): "I chose to attend Central Washington University because of their fine reputation as a flight school and wish to utilize this training and education to improve transportation safety in the air, on land and at sea. Hopefully I will get a job with the National Transportation Safety Board, though I would gladly work for another federal agency or even a private entity. Upon graduation I shall once more traverse the country by land, saving my pennies in the meantime as the 3,000-mile, one-way trip is even more expensive than a first-class, roundtrip airline ticket. I plan to spend my career in D.C. and travel to wherever the job requires."

 

Kaleena Rodda (2018): “My dream of working with technology, and more specifically, aerospace technologies, is moving forward, and its thanks to generous educational scholarships like yours. Since being named one of the recipients of the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship, my dream is becoming a reality at Central Washington University." 
 

 

 

Lauren Taracka (2018): "I have taught in schools in the Jefferson County area and have had the chance to work with over 1000 students. I believe that people do not want to help protect what they don't understand. That's why educational outreach about these animals is so important."
 

 

 

Zoe Whittaker (2018): "Being a Native American woman in a small town with so little diversity narrowed my mindset when it came to the options I had after high school. I didn't know I'd have this opportunity to attend #CWU. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for believing in me and helping to make my dreams come true.”
 

 

 

Riley Hyland (2018): "Since graduating high school, I have been working part time through the summers to help pay for college. I have also volunteered some of my time at the Thurston County Food Bank. This gift will help me a lot."
 

 

 

Brooke Rundle (2018): "Thank you for this generous gift! I grew up in Washington on the west side and went to a very academic and sports-focused high school. Despite this, I found my love for music and realized I wanted to teach it! I was involved with music department at Central Washington University."
 

 

 

Christoper Hernandez (2018): "College is, in my eyes, a blessing and a privilege to be able to attend. Not every parent can easily afford their child to pursue this milestone in their lives, similar to my situation. My parents come from a hard-working background that will do anything to make their kids’ succeed in life, but their financial abilities just fall short of that. I do not have a problem working whatsoever, and my parents could only aid me so much financially, so by receiving this scholarship is a miracle. Appreciatively, this award will make my financial situation in my senior year of college feasible. 
 

 

Mackenzie Vigil (2018): "I hope to one day have my own private violin studio, along with performing at a professional level. This scholarship gives me the opportunity to focus more of my time and energy into my own personal practice to better prepare me for my future as a performer and educator."

 

 

Angelina Valdez (2018): “I chose to attend CWU because they have an amazing education department. My plans after graduation are to teach secondary English and ELL students before going to receive my master’s degree in school administration. I want to come back to a university setting to be the one to teach the teachers. Your scholarship is going to help me do that.”

 

 

Darby Throndsen (2018): “I began this adventure majoring in sports business and marketing. I found that my true enjoyment is working directly with kids and I have since changed my major to physical and health education. My dream job would be a PE teacher in a school while coaching an after-school sport. Thank you for your generous scholarship, but also for believing in the future of CWU students.”
 

 

Kennedy Anson (2018): “I really appreciate the chance to receive a scholarship to obtain anawesome education while also being able to build an extended family here at CWU.  The money donated to the program allows us to train at a higher level and compete with the best.”
 

 

Michaella Swinharat (2018): "As a First-Generation student the odds are stacked against me to earn my degree. This will also be the first scholarship I have ever been granted. Being chosen by a committee from the chemistry department makes me feel that I have chosen the correct path. This also makes me feel as though I am leaving a positive impact on the faculty and staff."
 

 

Hannah Spohn (2018): “I transferred to Central Washington University to be closer to home. I missed the beautiful scenery of Washington and wanted to be closer to my family. Throughout my academic career, I have thoroughly enjoyed math and economics classes. These courses are intriguing and continuously require critical thinking, hence why I chose to study these subjects for five years. Thanks to a specific math course offered by CWU, I discovered both this scholarship and the Boeing internship."
 

 

Noemi Ortiz (2018): “My decision to attend CWU was fairly simple; I visited the university campus while in high school and fell in love with the campus. The vibes and environment felt welcoming to me and those were just added bonuses because my real motivation to attend CWU was the Law and Justice Program. My plan for the future is to be an Immigration Attorney; I have always felt strongly about immigration law and feel that this is the best career path for me.”
 

 

Ashley Olsen (2018): “I knew a handful of people who had already graduated from CWU's education program, and they all had nothing but nice things to say about CWU and the education program. After my first quarter at CWU, I decided the major for me was Math Teaching Secondary. The idea of combining a Mathematics degree and a teaching certificate in the same major is exactly what I have been hoping for and I am so thankful that I can be a part of this program at CWU.”
 

 

Andrew Jones (2018): “Working for a non-profit, I am able to provide a service to the community and help others who struggle with mental health and substance abuse disorders. Being a service to the community is important to me and I have shown that in my work life and also in my volunteer experience. Thank you for this opportunity.”
 

 

Brooklyn Isaacs (2018): "Since I was a little girl, I had only dreamt of being in the position I am today. Dreaming of a better life than that of my childhood, I can confidently say that with the help of this $5,000 scholarship, I am one step closer to making that dream a reality. As I move forward into my final year at Central Washington University, I strive to be the best student I can be. I quote B.B. King, “the beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” Though I have been through a lot, my past doesn’t define my future; and no one can take away my education."
 

 

Michael Homestead (2018)“Although I joined CWU out of a social connection, once I started I realized this school was a good fit for me with the flexibility and the utilization of technology. When I discovered the ITAM major, I knew I found the path I was looking for. The ITAM major not only filled my needs, it taps into my attraction to technology which I had forgotten about. Also, the specialty in cybersecurity even went beyond a normal IT majors and gives me skills in a high valued market.”

 

Kenlei Gunther (2018) “I chose to go to CWU because of their reputation, location, and both of my parents attended there. My major is Molecular and Cellular Biology and I am going to obtain a Forensics Certificate. I plan to graduate Winter Quarter of my fifth year. I plan on working for the Washington State Patrol in their lab and with their crime scene team. Next summer, I am hoping to get an internship in a lab that works with latent fingerprints.”
 

 

Amanda Good (2018)“In the last three years, I have grown tremendously and I have decided to complete my degree online from Argentina. Buenos Aires has the highest number of psychologists per capita in the world. I look forward to learning more about psychology through a different culture's lens while I'm there. I will be moving this August. Post-graduation, I will attend a graduate program for mental health counseling. I plan to test the waters at a state-ran office, like Sound Mental Health in Tukwila, Washington.”
 

 

 

Nicolas Garcia (2018): “I plan on using this opportunity to finish my History/Social Studies Teaching degree so that I can return home and begin making a difference in society by educating the future youth. I hope that one day the things I have learned while attending Central Washington will help me to guide children towards a bright future within our society, so they too can make a difference. None of these dreams would have been possible had you not put your faith in me and given me this wonderful opportunity to achieve my goals. Once again, I thank you for the faith you have put in me by allowing me to continue and finish my time here at Central.”
 

 

Sydnee Galucsha (2018): “After getting to know you both at this year’s banquet, I can say with absolute confidence that you are both deeply generous people. I admire your continued dedication to the students at CWU. With the help of your scholarship, I will be able to continue my education and have more opportunities in life. I hope to follow your example by being an active alumnus after I graduate. That way your generosity doesn’t have to be completely altruistic; I am positive that I am significantly more awkward on camera than Weslie.”
 

 

Dawn Fornear (2018): “Thank you for choosing me as a recipient for theSingle Parent Scholarship. I was surprised to receive it! As a single parent that works full time and attends school full time, this recognition means the world to me, and I'm excited to share the news with my son. He has been my biggest cheerleader, and I'm proud to share my accomplishments with him. It would be easy to just try to pass and not put 100% of my effort into my work, but that's not the kind of role model I wish to be.”
 

 

Kenya Byrnes (2018): "For my research, this upcoming June-August I will be in Chamela, Jalisco Mexico, doing research at a UNAM field station. I will be studying the endemic Golden-Cheeked Woodpecker in the Tropical Dry Forest. I will be presenting my research to your board November 1st and hope you are as excited as I am about this research opportunity. Thank you."

 

 

Michael Cartagena (2018): “I am half Salvadoran and half American. I have found that being the first generation to go to college has especially brought tough challenges. I strive for my education, I have gone through a lot of hardships due to my lack of funds. I will forever be grateful to such a generous organization such as the Coca-Cola Foundation for helping me with my education.”

 

Darion Christiansen (2018): "The W. J. Pennington scholarship funding will help me continue following my degree path here at Central Washington University. This means the world to me, so again, thank you so very much! Without scholarships like these, many students, including myself would not be able to continue our education. This means more to me, and us, than we can ever properly articulate, but that won't stop us from trying!"
 

 

Jack Espinoza (2018) “I love playing sports, having as much fun as possible, and helping other people meet their goals. I am from Yakima Washington. I am a huge competitor at heart, I love the adrenaline, and fuel that it provides me. I look forward to being able to teach students with the help of your support.”
 

 

 

Laura Evans (2018): “Special education was not the career path that I initially saw myself in. I wanted to go into the medical field. After developing a hereditary hand tremor, I knew that my plan wouldn't work out. I signed up to be a peer tutor in a life skills class during my senior year of high school. I want to make students confident in their abilities, so that they can achieve every goal that they set their mind to.”

 

Robert Faulk (2018): "Thank you for the Dale and Dorothy Jaques Scholarship. As an aging veteran transitioning into my third career, I was pleased to find out that there are scholarships available to those of us who took a little extra time to find our purpose. The money will go a long way in reducing my household's financial burdens while I complete my graduate degree in environmental sciences."

 

Kenneth Ballard (2018): "Being and older student of 24, I find it hard sometimes to push myself through school mainly because I miss working hard and making money. Not having to worry about money I believe is everyone's goal in one way or another and you have helped me for this next school year. Life is all about who you know and who you can impress. I'm glad I was in some way able to impress you."
 

 

Syeda Sadiya (2018): "By awarding me the scholarship, you have lightened my financial burden which allows me to focus more on the most important aspect of school which is learning from all sources. Your generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community. I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals just as you have helped me."
 

 

 

Jannefer Sengmany (2018): “I am one of the first in my family to attend college as well as the first to be this close (1 class) to graduating with a degree. My parents are immigrants from Laos, and growing up I didn't have the guidance I needed to really understand the importance of college. I struggled to do well in college and I struggled with what major I wanted to focus on. Coming to CWU put me in the right direction and here I am just 5 credits away from my B.A. in Biology.”
 

 

Emma Lindemeier (2018): "Receiving this scholarship is a great help to my family's financial situation. My parents are divorced and I live with my mother who works two jobs and is still paying off her own student loans. It makes it easier to focus on my education rather than worrying about money."
 

 

Aaron Turchardt (2018): “In my younger years in my school district, I moved around frequently because of the redrawn boundaries around my house. As a result, my educational experience has differed greatly from school to school. I had lots of great teachers and role models to help me through the many changes. I was taught to strive for greatness. Through numerous music, band, and jazz programs, I learned to put my best foot forward.”

 

 

Jack Espinoza (2018): “I went to Everett Community College on a cross country scholarship where I continued to get good grades but was still mainly focused on sports. During my Sophomore cross country season, I suffered from a sports hernia that ended my running career. I was devastated and didn't know what to do with my life. I took two years off of school to find myself and try and find out what I wanted to achieve in life. I began coaching runners and fell in love with coaching. I began making the most out of every situation and just having as much fun as possible in every situation.”
 

Christopher Anderson (2018): “Though the goal is in sight, earning my degree has been a long and arduous trek. Receiving the Gary Hansen Scholarship has been a blessing; my reserves have long been depleted, and there are physical constraints on how I must split my time between work and my studies. Perhaps circumstances will one day allow me to help others as you have helped me."

 

Morgan Rodgers (2018): “I wanted to be a voice for children who were forced to grow up in tragic circumstances. I wanted to help bring justice to those abusing innocent children. That was when I realized I wanted to prosecute crimes against children. But in order to do that, I would need a Bachelor’s degree, and what better place than CWU?”

 

 

Elizabeth Johnson (2018): “When I received the news that I was selected to receive your scholarship, it gave me a boost of energy and inspiration. I realized that someone who has never met me believes in my future and what I can do for the world to invest in me.”

 

 


 

Jessica McCready (2018): “Receiving this scholarship is an honor and helps motivate me to pursue my dreams. I look forward to meeting you in person towards the end of the school year so I can thank you in person.”
 

 

Mi-Rae Kapelak (2018): “Another reason why I chose Central is because my middle school band director, Greg Metcalf, studied here. He is the same person that inspired me to major in music education and performance. He was a phenomenal teacher and I have never a met another teacher that came close to him in playing abilities or teaching abilities. He was able to create meaningful bonds with his students and produce ensembles that sounded beyond their years. Unfortunately during my freshman year, he passed away from cancer. His loss was mourned by many - fellow teachers, musicians he worked with, and former and current students."
 

 

Rose Meyers (2018): I am double majoring in Mathematics Education and Spanish. I love the Spanish language and want to be able to use it whether it be here in Washington teaching or even going abroad and teaching. I recognize how lucky I am to have this opportunity to receive an education at CWU and how many doors will be opened for me, because of my education and what I am double majoring in."
 

 

Carina Sullivan (2018): I would like to say thank you for providing me with the funds to help further my education. This scholarship money is extremely helpful to me and provides peace of mind, which I consider priceless. I am able to go through school without the worry of how I am going to pay for classes, or how I would re-pay an enormous amount of student loans.


 

Thomas Effinger (2018): I began studying music as a junior in high school, and since I first began performing at the piano, I’ve had my heart set on becoming a professional musician. I could not be more thankful for these scholarships and the opportunity they provide.

 

 

 

Michael Schroll (2018): I recently received my Flight Instructor Certificate, and will use myeducation to influence future students and shape them into assets to the community as well.

 

 

 

 

Erik Ramirez (2018): When I found out I received the scholarship, it was like getting a second life. It gave me a whole new appreciation for school. This year it feels like I’m supposed to be here. When I won the scholarship, I knew I had to do everything in my power to come back to school. Read more.

 

 

 

Wendy Lee (2018): I have three great kids that support me as I work full time and attend school toearn my degree. My oldest son is in high school and has been doing Running Start. He was encouraged to start college by watching me go to school. I have earned my Associates degree from Pierce College in Business after changing my career path. I could not be more thankful for this Second Chance-A New Beginning Scholarship.

 

Jake Ellis (2018): I was so shocked and grateful when I was told of your generous support. Because of this scholarship, I am able to focus more on my schoolwork and preparation for graduate school instead of working extra hours to pay for this year of school.

 

 

 

Kendall Kramer (2018): The combination of Spanish and Public Health will assist me in achieving my goals. I will be studying abroad in Peru this fall and then I will have a year left until graduation. After graduation, I hope to enter the Peace Corps for two years.

 

 

Megumi Taylor (2018): I was so shocked and grateful when I was told of your generous support. Because of this scholarship, I am able to focus more on my schoolwork and preparation for graduate school instead of working extra hours to pay for this year of school.

 

 

 

 

Tamanh Le (2018): Due to your generosity, I am able to focus more on my studies and stress less about how to fund my education.

 

 

 

 

 

Tyler Ussery (2018): I hope to be able to discover new ways to use the powerful magic of music to heal the world in a myriad of ways from therapizing victims of Alzheimer’s to appeasing violent conflicts in war-stricken areas. I could not be more grateful for this scholarship and opportunity.

 

 

 

Cynthia Banuelos (2018): Getting an education is very important to me because of my parent’s backgrounds. I knew that I wasn’t going to take for granted the opportunities I was given here in my country. This scholarship has had a great effect on me.

 

 

 

Ashley Arriaga (2018): I am like a deer in the headlights 'cause no one [in my family] has ever gone to college. My parents finished kindergarten and first grade in Mexico. I never thought in a million years I would get it, because it is a pretty big deal. The Coca-Cola [First Generation] Scholarship has opened the door for me. 

 

 

 

Roxanne Laush (2018): Financially, being a college student and supporting three children with the associated daycare cost is a challenge. This is not only an honor, but also helps my family and I in a real and practical way.

 

 

 

Jonathan Stewart (2018): I’d like to convey my sincerest gratitude for the more than generous scholarship awarded to me. Your contributions will enable me to forgo working overtime at my job to spend more time involved in my studies. Upon receiving this scholarship acceptance letter, I felt an immense burden lifted from my shoulders. Your philanthropic efforts couldn’t be more appreciated. Thank you!

 

 

Jake Funkhouser (2017): I've been incredibly fortunate to have generous donors investing in my education. Without them, there's simply no way that I would have been as successful in my undergraduate and graduate education! Specifically, thank you to Pete and Sandra Barlow for their three years of continued support! Read more.

 

 

Kayla Postula (2018): Not only does this scholarship allow me to continue my studies for a career in law enforcement, but it also allows me to continue to play the sport I love, rugby! I came to CWU to pursue my career in law enforcement and play for a nationally ranked women's rugby team, and because of your generosity, I am able to do both!

 

 

 

Eric Santiago (2018): Being chosen means that there are people who believe in me and are willing to help me reach my goals. Growing up with only one parent and having a very low income has been very difficult. It is hard for me to balance school and help support my family financially at the same time. This scholarship will help me in a very big way economically in my pursuit of furthering my education and for a brighter future.

 

 

Elizabeth Keke (2018): This scholarship is truly a blessing and a miracle. It made me feel like I am doing this for a reason and there are great plans ahead of me. Read more.

 

 

 

 

 

Jackson Njoroge (2017): I was born in Kenya and grew up in a less privileged community which came with financial and educational challenges. I am the first in my family to attend college. Having come to America gave me opportunities to excel in education despite scarce resources.

 

 

 

Valerie Bodeau (2018): My entire life, I have heard how incapable, insignificant, and unworthy I was. I did not believe I could be anything more than what I was. As I have ventured into furthering my education, I have learned that all of [the] things I was taught to believe about myself, were far from truth. I have excelled and maintained grades that I am extremely proud of. Through hard work and dedication to continuing to better myself and my future, I have found a deep passion to also help others facing situations in life, as I did.

 

Kayla S. Craig (2018): I'd like to take the opportunity to thank you for your gracious scholarship donation towards my studies. Your consideration means the world to me and will help me immensely with my studies; the fact that I've been awarded with the John F Connolly Memorial Scholarship means that you see potential within me, and for that I am grateful.

 

 

 

Ulyses Morales (2018): As a first-generation student, I am leading by example that college is no longer a dream, but a reachable goal. Receiving the prestigious Coca-Cola [First Generation] Scholarship does not only relieve a financial burden, but receiving your scholarship also encourages me to continue to push forward knowing that I have the support of your organization.

 

 

 

Alejandra Montano (2018): I am the first person in my family to attend college, so just being here in itself is an enormous accomplishment for us. Alongside both your and their support, I am able to set an example for my younger sisters and others in my community to hopefully encourage them to do the same and follow their dreams as well.

 

 

 

Kyla Graeser (2018): I am so grateful for your generous financial gift that is allowing me to complete my educational goals. I come from a relatively humble background and my parents are not able to help me shoulder the financial burden of college so your monetary gift is an incredible support in helping me achieve my dream of pursuing medical school.

 

 

Meredith Brown (2018): CWU has leveraged my university experience beyond a degree. CWU has given me resources and relationships that have expanded my critical and creative thinking that will apply to my future classroom.  I am passionate about teaching and I have a love for literature. I chose to pursue secondary English teaching because I believe that reading and writing have the power to open doors of opportunities for students because literacy strengthens students’ intellectual and communication skills.

 

 

Vanessa Biliey (2016-17): Coordinating the annual Washington State Solo & Ensemble Contest, acting as the Collegiate President of the Washington Music Educators Association and CWU NAfME President are just a few ways Music Education Major Vanessa Bliley fills her time. And this is just her volunteer hours. It doesn’t include the time spent earning money to cover tuition costs and living expenses, teaching Oboe lessons to local middle school students, acting as camp counselor at CWU Leadership and Drum Major Camp and her office job in the music department at Central.

To read the rest of Vanessa's story, click here.

 

Alicia Huegli (2016-17): I am so honored at being chosen to receive this scholarship. The scholarship is helping me immensely with paying for tuition as well as other expenses. The reason I chose to transfer to Central was because of the Actuary program. No other schools in Washington or Oregon state have as large of a program. We finish the program being well prepared to pursue a career as an actuary after graduation. I have already passed exam P and FM and I plan on taking MFE this November. After graduation I have already secured a job with Premera Blue Cross as an Assistant Actuarial Analyst. I am really looking forward to moving to Seattle and starting my career.

 

Morgan Rodriguez (2016-17): I am more than honored to be a recipient of the Elliot Family Endowed Scholarship. This generous donation has helped me attain a higher education, a great privilege that many people around the world do not have access to. Having to pay for college on my own, it is the generosity of people like you who make this fulfilling experience affordable and possible. You have my eternal gratitude. I strongly believe an education is the single most important thing a person can have. So, I have the utmost respect and gratitude for people like you that help make an education possible. Thank you.

 

Jocelyn Robinette: Thank you ever-so-much for the generous scholarship I received over this summer. Because of your kindness, I was able to complete 15 credits over the nine week session, which put me on track with my graduation plan. THANK YOU!

 

I have left my office to become a full time student. It is because of people like you who make it possible for me to work harder at my teaching degree and still be a mom! Thank you again! This scholarship meant so much to me!

 

Ardie Fesuluai:  I am deeply grateful for the scholarship I received this fall quarter. My family was shocked when we found an unpaid fee on my finances and we were even more shocked to see how much the unpaid amount was. We knew instantly that we could not afford to pay it off before the winter quarter, because of our unfortunate financial status at the time. Thankfully, after writing a letter stating our situation, we were able to find help from the CWU Foundation. I feel grateful and blessed to be awarded this scholarship for $2,000. My family and I are so appreciative to the CWU Foundation. In receiving this scholarship, I feel obligated to take full advantage of the services provided to me by CWU. Thank you, again, and words cannot express my gratitude for the help provided to me.

 

Alex LaVanway: I cannot thank you enough for the gift you have given me and my family. My son has grown out of his condition and my wife is in better health. My family is happy.

 

The Foundation has gone the extra mile on my behalf. Your gift to us has given my wife and family peace of mind. CWU has given me so many wonderful opportunities and so much support. Because of your generosity, I look forward to the time where I can give back to the University and help others as you have helped me.

To read about some of our donors, click here.

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