After providing financial aid for Angela Anthony to pursue higher education, Central Scholarship (CS) has dramatically stepped in to help the first generation college student from Warwick pay off her student debt.
At last week’s 2016 Student Awards Ceremony, the nonprofit selected Anthony as the winner in its second annual Student Loan Pay-Down lottery, presenting her with a check for $30,000.
Seven in 10 college seniors graduate with an average of $37,000 in student loan debt. Through the generosity of Ira and Marcia Wagner (CS’ board chair and his wife), CS is presenting the Student Loan Pay-Down Award to one qualifying graduate every year through the nonprofit’s 100th anniversary in 2024.
Anthony’s name was announced after this year’s drawing among 34 eligible candidates.
“I have worked 20 to 30 hours a week since I was an undergrad to pay off my loans, but in an instant, half of my student debt was gone,” said Anthony, who is finishing a master’s program in international development at Eastern University in Pennsylvania. “This is such a blessing!”
“I’m truly thankful for the generosity of this organization,” which is changing the lives of so many students and making their dreams come true – regardless of the burdens that they have,” she added.
After graduating from Bohemia Manor High School and attending Cecil College, Anthony turned to Central Scholarship for interest free loans to help finance her undergraduate tuition.
A Dean’s List student and tennis team captain, Anthony traveled the Atlantic Ocean to Europe, Africa and South America in the Semester at Sea Global Study Abroad Experience, “realizing that not only is there great beauty in this world, but there is also immense poverty.”
“Because of what I saw on my voyage, I decided to become a leader with Youth Against Complacency and Homelessness Today and pursue a career in international development,” she said.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2015, she embarked on graduate studies – with more help from Central Scholarship.
“Central Scholarship was a huge supporter of me achieving my undergraduate degree, offering awards each year I was in school which relieved me of a financial burden while I was in school,” she said. “I had hoped that Central Scholarship would be that same blessing for me while pursing my Master’s degree, and thankfully, again they so graciously provided.”
“This extra money in the form of the Interest Free Loan has allowed me to spend more time in my studies and less time working to pay for school,” she added, noting that throughout college, she has worked a variety of jobs including van driver, hostess, merchandiser, assistant lay director at a church and events staff at a catering facility to pay down her loans.
With the $30,000 award, she can be even more career-focused with a lot less pressure on her shoulders.
“Angela Anthony exemplifies the type of students that Central Scholarship looks to fund – those with the drive and determination to go after their goals despite financial hardship,” said Central Scholarship President Jan Moylan Wagner, MBA. “We were delighted to assist her in pursuing higher education and now delighted we can help her pay down her student debt.”