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Meet the 2018 Dream Award Recipients: Miguel Aguirre

Mar 18, 2019

By Joan Cronson

While Miguel Aguirre was growing up in Rio Bravo in the northeastern region of Mexico, his family, which included four children, often struggled to make ends meet. At times, there was stress and tension in the household—but his parents dreamed of a better life for their children. When Miguel was 10, his mother immigrated to Texas with Miguel and his three sisters while his father stayed in Mexico to work and help support the family.   

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The Student Success Movement: Creating a College Completion Culture

Jan 25, 2019

By Matt Konrad

Ten years ago, then-President Barack Obama’s “American Graduation Initiative” set out two historically ambitious goals: increase the nation’s community college graduates by five million over the following decade, and raise the percentage of Americans with a certificate or degree to 60 percent by 2020.

A decade later, the nation finds itself well behind schedule in meeting those goals. As reported by the Washington Post and Hechinger Report, “federal and state budget cuts,...

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Meet the 2018 Dream Award Recipients: Christian E. Urrea

Jan 04, 2019

By Joan Cronson

Growing up in a single-parent family in Guadalajara, Mexico, Christian Urrea had no idea that immigration to the United States with his mother when he was eight years old was just the start of his long journey to a better life.

As an undocumented minor, Christian faced language, cultural and financial struggles. Though he’d studied English in school in Mexico, he remembers feeling overwhelmed in his first all-English class in elementary school in Aurora, Ilinois, a suburb of...

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Year In Review: How Scholarship America Changes Students' Lives

Dec 28, 2018

Since our founding 60 years ago, Scholarship America has had a singular focus on supporting the dreams and aspirations of bright minds, no matter what their circumstances and obstacles might be. From our beginnings as a community scholarship drive in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1958, we have grown to become the nation’s largest private scholarship provider.

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Sixty Years of History, 20 Years of Partnerships: Celebrating a Milestone Year

Dec 21, 2018

By Megan Gunderson and Matt Konrad

As 2018 draws to a close, we’re excited to look back on some major milestones in Scholarship America’s history. This year, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of our founding in 1958, when Fall River, Massachusetts optometrist Irving Fradkin had a simple but world-changing idea: if an entire community came together, even small donations could turn into significant support for college-bound students.

That idea has been the basis of our work for the last six...

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Dream Award Recipient Amanda Condon: Overcoming Odds, Reaching Milestones

Dec 12, 2018

By Amanda Condon

Editor's Note: Amanda Condon was a member of the 2016 class of Scholarship America Dream Award recipients. We are proud to publish this guest post from Amanda, letting us know where she is now—and what great things she's doing.

I was an honors student in middle school: ambitious, creative and driven. From the outside looking in, my family was a typical rural household that thrived on hard work and education. I was the second of four children and the leader of my siblings....

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Creating Scholarship Programs With Purpose, Part 3: Making an Impact

Dec 04, 2018

By Amy Ronnkvist

When it comes to providing scholarships, there are three major questions to answer. In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the “why” element—determining what you truly want to accomplish by awarding a scholarship. In Part 2, we delved into the “how,” looking at ways to identify the students who need your help. In this final installment, we’ll take a closer look at the “what”—that is, what to look for in your recipients, and what exactly your scholarship program should...

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Meet the 2018 Dream Award Recipients: Jacoby Barry

Nov 27, 2018

By Joan Cronson

An only child and a smart, well-rounded student growing up in New Orleans, Jacoby Barry developed important life skills that helped him thrive inside and outside the classroom. He excelled academically in math and science, completed AP and honor classes, but also had a passion for playing basketball and was a team captain.

“Playing basketball taught me resilience, toughness, dedication, and teamwork,” said Jacoby. “It takes practice to improve and compete. Math came easy for...

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Creating Scholarship Programs With Purpose, Part 2: Knowing Your Students

Nov 21, 2018

By Amy Ronnkvist

There are as many unique scholarship programs as there are sponsors, but the ones that make a truly life-changing impact have a few things in common. In Part 1 of this series, we discussed “finding your ‘why’—digging into the problems you want to solve and the stories that motivate you to give a scholarship. Answering that question is the first step toward developing a truly inspiring program. Today, we’ll look at step two: getting a deeper understanding of the students you...

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Creating Scholarship Programs With Purpose, Part 1: Finding Your “Why”

Nov 08, 2018

By Amy Ronnkvist

If you’re considering creating a scholarship program, here’s one way to start thinking of the design: if I put a chair in front of you and asked who was sitting in the chair as you design your program, who occupies that chair? Is it your donor, a community member, a board member—or is it the student? Are you asking questions such as what does the donor want, or what does the board want? Or are you asking who are the students in my community, and what do they need to be...

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