The Alumni Association is helping the next generation of Ragin' Cajuns through its scholarship program.
This year alone, $98,000 in scholarships were awarded to 49 current UL Lafayette students. Each of these recipients has worked tirelessly to achieve academic success. For many, the awarded scholarships allow them to focus better on their futures.
When André Pittman found out that he was a scholarship recipient, he knew this would give him the opportunity to finish his degree while relieving some of the financial stress of paying for his education.
"With this being the last semester of my undergraduate degree, this scholarship has helped me focus more on my studies and my internship. I'm taking 18 hours of classes and interning nearly 20 hours a week, so I don't have much time on my hands," Pittman said. "This scholarship has taken the place of my job and really helped me pay for college."
Pittman has a passion for college athletics and is currently studying sports management. He knows the knowledge that he learned at UL Lafayette will help take his career to the next level. "I plan to work my way up to eventually become an athletic director of a Division 1 university."
Scholarship recipient Kristy Bonner found herself back at UL Lafayette mid-career. She decided to enroll in the online degree program offered by the University once her career shifted to a new industry. "As someone returning to college later on in life thanks to the online program, it was encouraging to be selected as a scholarship recipient," Bonner said.
Her plans include continuing her path in marketing or jumping into a new industry altogether. "Down the road, I may want to teach as I'd like the opportunity to inspire those just starting out. Expanding my education will allow me to do this."
Two international students, Clare Chong and Zidane Tan, were ecstatic when awarded scholarships from the Alumni Association. Both students are from Malaysia and come from a long line of Ragin' Cajuns. "Pretty much all of my family are UL Lafayette alumni. I'm glad to keep the tradition going," Tan said.
Chong was extremely grateful to have received this scholarship during her last school semester. She hopes this program will continue to help future international students who decide to pursue their education at UL Lafayette. "Thank you so much to all the alumni for making this [scholarship program] for students," Chong said.
The Alumni Association's scholarship program would not be possible without the continuous help of donors and supporters. If you're interested in contributing to the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, you can make a gift directly or consider purchasing a UL Lafayette specialty license plate. A portion of all Louisiana license plate proceeds benefits Alumni Association scholarships. With your support, the Alumni Association can continue to help UL Lafayette students achieve their goals and ambitions for years to come.
Photo caption: UL Lafayette Alumni Association scholarship recipients attend a reception in their honor, celebrating their achievements and the new semester. (Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette)