Fourteen students recently were chosen as recipients of CSUN Alumni scholarships for the 2021-22 academic year. On Sept. 23, all were recognized at the annual Virtual CSUN Alumni Scholarship Celebration for receiving what could turn out to become a life-changing gift.
For at least one student, it already is.
“I was on the verge of quitting because I was going through so much financial adversity,” said senior psychology major Sherrell King. “This scholarship was able to immediately take a financial obstacle off of me, and I can now get back to my goals and focusing on school.”
King enrolled at CSUN nearly 30 years after graduating from high school. Over those three decades, she said, she chose a path that led her astray. At different points, she was homeless, in prison and on drugs. But her story turned toward proud success.
“I had lost hope in my life before and feared that this would be another one of those occurrences,” King said. “It turns out that in the end, I was actually given hope.”
Scholarships were awarded in three categories: first-generation college students, legacy students (children or grandchildren of CSUN alumni), and one to a graduate student continuing their education at CSUN.
The annual event highlights the recipients and their stories, and it provides students the opportunity to thank the donors who helped fund their scholarships. Many students also explained how those donors’ investments will pay off.
Graduate student recipient and social work major Brittany Green spoke about her past struggles with an eating disorder. Her social worker inspired her complete recovery and helped direct her on the path to where she is now, Green said. Just as she was supported by a social worker, she dreams of being that person for others.
“I will forever be grateful to be selected for this life-changing honor,” Green said. “Thanks to the funds that I am receiving with this scholarship, I will be able to officially jumpstart my career as a clinical social worker.”
For legacy student recipients, the award honors their dedication to following in the footsteps of their parents or grandparents.
Both of Novali Plascencia’s parents attended CSUN. The decision to walk down the same path as them was an easy one for the freshman computer science major. With the scholarship funds, Plascencia said, she can now help her parents pay her way through college.
“As a freshman, I am still new to the campus — but in the future, I plan on becoming a university ambassador just like my mother was,” Plascencia said. “This helped me with the expenses tremendously, and I cannot wait to capitalize on this opportunity and help others while also learning and meeting awesome individuals on campus.”