While the IPS Education Foundation spends much of its efforts fulfilling district needs through DonorsChoose projects and teachers’ grants, many of the ways the Foundation supports students come from individual or corporate donors giving to students.
One corporate sponsor, Premiere Credit, has financially supported IPS students for three years. We talked to them about the importance of supporting IPS students and two Indiana University seniors who have received scholarship money from the organization.
According to Amanda Tucker of Premiere Credit, “We believe that higher education is important for the U.S. to maintain its competitive edge in the global economy and that the business community should do its part to support it. We want to do our part in our local community to advance education and help low income families get a college education.”
Jasmine Dillard, who graduated third in her class from Northwest High School in 2010, is studying criminal justice and political science and plans to attend law school and practice family or criminal law after graduation. Dillard speaks positively about the impact IPS schools had on her life.
“Growing up from IPS schools has allowed me to become the woman that I am today. I have had wonderful teachers and counselors who have inspired me to succeed,” she said.
Maria Alatorre, a graduate of Arsenal Technical High School, has similarly positive things to say about her experience in IPS.
“The three things that stick out to me about the IPS experience are the dedicated teachers, the vast number of opportunities and resources to develop myself as a person and not just a student, and the priceless exposure to diversity,” she said.
Alatorre is studying biology with minors in psychology and Spanish. She is currently studying abroad in Seville, Spain, and after graduation plans to become a nurse practitioner and work in international medicine. Both she and Dillard speak passionately about the role their scholarship money has had on their lives and their educations.
Dillard says, “The… scholarship has truly helped me pay for college expenses. I did not have a full ride to attend Indiana University, but it was the school of my dreams.”
Alatorre echoes this sentiment. “This scholarship has allowed me to attend college without having to worry about the finances,” she says. “College is stressful already, and I am very grateful my scholarships have allowed me to truly focus on developing myself as both a scholar and a person.”
Dillard is passionate about giving back to her community through volunteer work, a passion that started in high school, and she plans to support IPS as she can as an adult as well. She has an eventual goal of developing her own scholarship for IPS students. As she says, this kind of support can help “minimize burdens and maximize success.”
“The truth is, my sheer determination would not have paid for college,” Alatorre said. “Imagine being a student fresh out of high school, with unlimited potential, desire, and youth. Would you want to stop there, or would you want to keep moving forward and up? Many students choose the second option, but are forced to settle for the first one.”
Individuals and companies who donate to the IPS Education Foundation are helping fund students who have big dreams but may not have the financial resources to pursue them. Students like Maria Alatorre and Jasmine Dillard are working to make their dreams come true because of the support of corporate donations.
Maria Alatorre puts it best when she says, “My experiences in college have let me see that the most valuable thing you can invest in is not a thing at all—it’s a person. Your gift will have no end.”