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How wiping out the burden of student debt changed Raymond’s life

Posted: 01.25.19

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Central Scholarship wipes out up to $30,000 of student debt for one student at our annual Student Awards Ceremony through the Student Loan Pay Down award. Raymond was our first recipient. 

Hello, my name is Raymond.

I am a former Central Scholarship Student Loan Pay Down award recipient. August 5, 2015, still gives me chills. I never won anything of this magnitude in my life. The moment my name was called, I was taken over by emotion. I couldn’t believe it, “Raymond was debt-free.” My life changed forever and as I walked off the stage, I promised to make my family and Central Scholarship proud.

The Pay Down award opened up so many doors for my life. I received the award shortly after becoming the first person in my family to graduate college. Since 2015, I have earned my Master’s degree in information systems, becoming the first in my family to also attend graduate school, a dream that I never knew would be economically possible. Without the Pay down award, I would be close to $60,000 in debt, something that could paralyze a first-generation college student like me.

For most of my life, I lived in my hometown of Baltimore. Central Scholarship has allowed me to further my education and also expand my horizons beyond the city. In 2018, I accepted a great opportunity at Ernst and Young and have created a new life for myself in Atlanta. Central Scholarship not only paid off my undergraduate student debt, but Central Scholarship has also provided me the privilege to pursue a career of my choice, save for a life-changing move to Atlanta and to continue to assist the family that has stood by me.

As many of us can attest to, a debt of any kind can be a huge burden and affect the way we plan for the future. Decisions such as buying a home, planning a wedding, or even saving for retirement can be affected by looming debt. Many of my friends have found creative ways to manage their student loan debt such as living at home or picking up an extra job. However, some have had to make tough decisions such as forgoing starting their own business.

Central Scholarship has given me my wings. It has given me the financial freedom to live without fear. I pursue my dreams and provide for my loved ones. In 2011, I wrote the words “My name is Raymond and I would be honored to receive a grant from Central Scholarship.” Seven years later, it is still an honor and a true pleasure to be a part of the Central Scholarship family. Thank you Central Scholarship.