Each student came in for an in person interview for 45 minutes. I was most impressed with the professionalism and courage these young women displayed. A few of them had significant hardships including mental health challenges, homelessness and medical issues to overcome within their family structure. Some are 1st time high school graduates and many will be 1st time college students.
Despite their challenges they remain focused on their path towards higher education. Many work part-time jobs and have large family responsibilities. They managed to keep a solid GPA, pursue extracurricular activities, and seek financial aid in the quest to keep their educational costs down. It was a moving experience for me and other committee members to hear real examples of challenges they face. I realized how fortunate my life has been with deep family and financial support for education.
Our committee still needs to tally our final votes but all the young women are winners at some level. Their poised grace and presence will carry them forward in whatever path they pursue in their career and life journey.
The TEMPO scholarship reward comes on the heels of University of Wisconsin-Madison announcement along with a growing list of colleges that now offer free tuition to certain students. Called "Bucky's Tuition Promise," the program will cover four years of tuition and fees for in-state students whose family's annual household adjusted gross income is $56,000 or less. Average tuition at UW Madison is about $11,000 annually so that savings frees up considerable cash for books and housing costs.
More information about Bucky's Promise here: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/09/university-of-wisconsin-madison-offers-free-tuition-to-financially-strapped-freshmen.html