Perspective Online

The Gift of Education is Just a Phone Call Away

by Amy K. Lavender '05

If ever there was a model student, Lucero Delgado fits the bill and then some. Going into her second year here at UWG, she is a member of the Latino Culture Society, a student ambassador, she works two on-campus jobs, volunteers in the community, devotes her time as a mentor to freshmen protégés, and will be a semester ahead in her journey to complete her bachelor’s in business management by the end of the school year.

The Gift of Education is Just a Phone Call AwayYet, if it weren’t for the kindness and generosity of donors, none of this would be possible. Lucero is the recipient of two UWG scholarships based on community service and her GPA. She also is a HOPE scholar. And without the aid of these scholarships, Lucero’s college experience would be very different.

“These scholarships are a major financial help and relieve a lot of stress,” Lucero explained. “My parents don’t come from a wealthy background and had to build from the bottom up, so they wouldn’t have been able to afford college for me without it. Also, I didn’t want to take out a student loan. I just wasn’t raised that way – to take on a lot of debt. So HOPE and the UWG scholarships helped tremendously.”

Lucero and her family are originally from Mexico; however, she was raised here in Georgia. In fact, she doesn’t know much about her native heritage and is looking forward to taking a course in Spanish this semester.

“I’m excited about my Spanish class,” Lucero said. “Though I grew up speaking both English and Spanish fluently, I rarely had the opportunity to write in Spanish. So this class is going to really challenge me to improve my Spanish writing. I’ll also get to learn more about my Spanish heritage and culture.”

For Lucero, being at UWG is a dream-come-true that could have fizzled out early on due to a lack of funds, not to mention experience in knowing how to navigate scholarship applications. As a first-generation college student, the college experience is something completely new to her and her family … but the idea is catching on now.

The Gift of Education is Just a Phone Call Away“I have three brothers,” Lucero said. “The oldest went to college, but I was surprised to find out that I was an inspiration to them and that now my little brother, who went into the military, is planning to attend college as well.”

There was a time when a college education seemed out of reach for Lucero. However, the help she had from UWG mentors and donors has put a degree within her grasp. Now, she is well on her way to graduating early and setting an example for others.

“I’m mentoring freshmen now, and I really enjoy it because I was in their shoes as a first-generation college student,” she said. “I really love it.”

Lucero will also be working in the giving department this semester. She may even give you a call as she helps kick off a “thank-a-thon” and a fundraising “phone-a-thon” campaign on Sept. 18.

“The phone-a-thon campaign is a component of the Annual Giving department, which allows students to connect with alumni from all of the colleges,” said Jada Marcum, director of Annual Giving. “Our primary focus is to raise funds for the need-based scholarships, which supports UWG’s Strategic Imperative #1: Student Success. Of course, donors may give to any area they wish, whether that be their respective college, specific programs, athletics, etc.”

Last year, UWG saw record fundraising participation, with alumni donors growing by 22 percent. In fact, 70 percent of the funds raised last fiscal year came from alumni. This year, as the phone-a-thon kicks off, Annual Giving has set a goal of raising $50,000 just for these worthy, hard-working students. And Jada says seeing the success of students like Lucero makes it all worth while.

“Lucero always has a warm and genuine smile on her face,” Jada said. “She is very involved and brings with her a wealth of knowledge of all that is happening on campus. Being a scholarship recipient, she relates well to the donors and understands how important a simple thank you can be. We are fortunate to have her on our team!”


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Posted: September 11, 2015

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