As volunteers came together to report their fundraising progress in the fourth week of the campaign, Luke Gonzales was among the One Purpose scholars on hand to show his gratitude.
For some students, receiving a One Purpose scholarship in a time of need has meant more than recognition of their hard work — it has made an education attainable for these students who have the drive to make a positive impact in the community.
“I have experienced the tremendous impact a scholarship can have,” said Gonzales, a theatre major. “When I was faced with a challenge this semester, my One Purpose scholarship made it possible for me to continue pursuing my education and to be successful. I am so grateful to everyone who has put forth their time or made a contribution in order to recognize students like me with a One Purpose scholarship.”
Nearly 170 students have been awarded One Purpose scholarships for the current academic year as a result of the inaugural fundraising effort that took place last fall. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit to students who demonstrate academic excellence and the potential to make an impact on their academic, athletic, or artistic program. This year, more than 270 volunteers have joined the cause to encourage members of the community to make an investment in an important resource for the future of the region — Stanislaus State students.
“I think that One Purpose scholarships have an impact because they motivate students to make a difference,” Gonzales said. “Young people who have positive encouragement will go on to have a positive outlook on life. They will be able to do great things, and in turn give back to the community that invested in them.”
The networking reception also provided an opportunity for the students to make connections and learn from the experiences of One Purpose volunteers — many of whom are business and community leaders. Volunteers were excited to hear about the future aspirations of the students, and how their scholarships have inspired them to think about their next steps after college.
“Scholarships play a huge role for students to be successful in their education — scholarships motivate them and provide them with the confidence to go after their education,” said Michael Van Winkle, mayor of Waterford, who is volunteering for the fund drive. “I think One Purpose encourages students to stay involved in their community and to share the value of education.”
One Purpose scholar Russell Fowler was the first of his three brothers to earn a college scholarship, which has instilled in him a great sense of pride. His family is incredibly proud of him as well, Fowler said. And, sharing the news about his scholarship has created a ripple effect.
“Receiving a scholarship makes it possible for me to call Stanislaus State my second home,” he said. “And I get to tell my younger cousins ‘I got a scholarship from Stanislaus’ — then they want to know more about Stanislaus and I tell them how great it is. Not only does it impact me, but it also impacts the future generation — not only in my family, but a future generation of students.”
This week’s top volunteers, John and Edith Jacinto, reported seven new One Purpose members, totaling $8,500 in pledges. The top first-year volunteers in the fourth week of the campaign were Douglass W. Wilhoit, Jr., who is leading a team from the Stockton and San Joaquin County area, and Dale Butler of Modesto, who reported $1,100 and $1,000 in pledges, respectively.
Volunteers and donors can see the immediate impact that One Purpose has on students and in building a community that values education. Pennie Rorex, volunteering for a second year, said that meeting the students who have benefited from One Purpose scholarships has aided her fundraising efforts this year, and she believes that the community will reap the benefits in years to come.
“Receiving a scholarship helps a student complete their degree — and they experience the spirit of giving,” Rorex said. “By supporting One Purpose, we are setting an example as community leaders, so that when these students graduate and have stable careers they will be inspired to continue that spirit of giving.”
Those interested in more information — or in giving to One Purpose — can contact the Division of University Advancement at (209) 667-3131 or visit www.csustan.edu/one-purpose.
California State University, Stanislaus serves nearly 9,000 students on a beautiful 228-acre campus in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. Widely recognized for its dedicated faculty and high-quality academic programs, the University offers more than 100 majors, minors and areas of concentration, 24 master’s degree programs and a doctorate in educational leadership. Stanislaus State held its first classes in 1960 and opened the Stockton Center in 1998. It is one of 23 campuses in the California State University system, the largest and most diverse higher education system in the country.