GIVING THANKS

By University of Utah Communications

November is National Gratitude Month, and in the spirit of giving thanks, University of Utah students have messages for those who made it possible for them to gain an education through scholarships and grants.

Click through the slideshow below:

“Thank you so much for being a donor, thank you so much because this will allow me to achieve my goals.”

—Paola Cervantes
Dreamers Connecting our Community Union Scholarship

“I would really like to tell the donors thank you. Because I feel that this is a very big opportunity for me. With this scholarship it will give me the opportunity to be more active and engage and be more of a leader than I already am and to be a better leader than I am, and I feel like that is very important to me and I am very grateful and I appreciate it so much and I am honored.I would really like to tell the donors thank you! Receiving this scholarship is a very big opportunity for me and it will give me more time to be active, and engaged in being a leader and it will help me be a better leader. This is very important to me and I am so very grateful and I appreciate this so much and I am honored.”

—Alisa Cloward
Union Student Leader Scholarship

“For the donors who have contributed to the scholarship fund, I would like to express my deepest and most sincere gratitude for your scholarship.  Because of this scholarship, I am able to continue on with my own personal studies, despite being a first-generation college student with DACA status I feel like with this scholarship I am absolutely able to continue on with my third semester at the U in my master’s program. I feel like these opportunities are the sort of opportunities that allow students to feel motivated such as myself and be able to give back to my community by one day helping sponsor other scholarships for deserving students.I would like to express my deepest and most sincere gratitude for your scholarship. Because of this scholarship, I am able to continue on and be successful in my master’s degree. I am more motivated now more than ever to give back to my community by helping support scholarship fundraising initiatives. Despite being a first generation and DACA student, I feel like receiving this scholarship sets me up for success in the future, so thank you!”

—Jose Morales Diaz
Maria Reyes Memorial Scholarship

“I would like to tell the donors who donated to the Union student leader scholarship fund. Thank you for supporting people like me that need a little extra help, so I can focus better on everything I need to focus on. It makes my life just that much easier and makes serving others much easier also. I feel like I can reach a wider range of people in the community with this extra help too.”

—Rachel Heard
Union Student Leader Scholarship

“To the donors and the Union scholarship, I’d like to say thank you. Receiving this scholarship means the world to me. It’s going to help me focus solely on school and not have to worry about the associated expenses that come with college.”

—Theron Henderson
American Indian Resource Center/Union leader scholarship

“Thank you so much it has made a big impact and I feel honored to receive it.”

—Gary Jarvis
Student Veteran Leadership Scholarship

“To all the donors that contributed to the scholarship fund, I really want to say thank you! Because for students like me college can be very daunting. It is something that is a dream, but it’s not always something that you can achieve. But having the support of donors makes college more real for me, something that I can actually obtain. I know that I am extremely fortunate to have received this scholarship. And I just want to tell the donors thank you so much for donating. And one day I hope to be in a position where I can do the same for others.Thank you so much for donating, having the support of the donors makes college way more real and attainable for me. I know that I am extremely fortunate to have received this scholarship and I just wanted to say thank you! And that I hope one day to be in a position where I can do the same for others in the future.”

—Lilly Kanishka
Union Student Leader Scholarship

“I would like to thank the donors, because they’re giving people a chance to study that didn’t have an opportunity before, without them I probably wouldn’t have come to the U. And let them know that they are doing a great job and I hope they keep on doing it, to give other people the same chance they gave me.I was so shocked when they told me I won, I was speechless. I didn’t know what to say. I was just very happy and thankful.”

—David Leon
Our Casa and Union Student Leader Scholarship

“Thank you for believing in me, thank you for believing in my passion. Thank you for helping me continue this research especially as I mentioned my passion, working with first-generation and low-income students. I am a first generation student and I was a low-income student my entire life. This was hard, my first year in college I dropped out because it was so hard. I then came back after, but my whole education journey was a struggle, and this is why I have a passion at what I do, and I don’t even call what I do a job or career. . . it’s just my passion. The fact that I can do research because I feel like these same students are going through the same things I went through. There has to be something, we’ve got to figure something out and this is why I am doing this research to be able to go back to my community and be able to help first-generation and low-income students and be able to say.. you know what, there is something, like I can help you out, there’s this research and or be able to work with non profit organizations and be able to work in higher ed, I don’t know what I want to do exactly. But I want to work with first-generation and low-income students just like me.Thank you for believing in me, thank you for believing in my passion. I am a first generation student and I was low income my entire life. College was really hard, I dropped out my first year because it was so hard. I then came back after, but my entire educational journey has been really hard, and this is why I have a passion at what I do with working with first-generation and low-income students.”

—Roxana Luna
Union Student Leader Scholarship

“First off thank you so much for your donations, cuz I don’t even know if words can express the amount of gratitude that really goes to the students who receive these scholarships. Your amazing work and your kindness to give back to the student community. Even yourself for being so kind and considerate to benefit for myself especially for the others, if I can speak on their behalf is just completely amazingly appreciated. I really do hope, down the line to if I become super successful to hopefully give back scholarships and the community to help people further themselves when they are going through difficult times and help them find that sense of hope and belief that there are people that care for them. And to really help them find their own method of success.Thank you so much! Words can’t express the amount of gratitude that I have because I received this scholarship. I hope to be able to help give back to the community in the future and be able to help people who are going through difficult times and give them a sense of hope like this scholarship has given me.”

—Bryan Luu
Union Student Leader Scholarship

“I would love to, first of all, tell the donors thank you for this opportunity to be able to continue my leadership skills and to continue to help others gain those skills as well. Not only that I feel like the Union is personally for me a big family and I feel like those that have contributed to this scholarship fund and they have contributed to helping the family connect better and helping the family make events and things like that to help others come close to the union and I feel like the Union is where my heart is. And I’m really grateful people have acknowledged that as well, and want to contribute.Thank you so much to all the donors! Thank you for this opportunity to be able to continue developing my leadership skills and helping others develop their skills also. I feel like the Union is a big family and those who have contributed to this scholarship fund have helped build our family and connect us better. I feel like the Union is where my heart is and I want to continue contributing to it.”

—Breanna Mears
Union Student Leader Scholarship

“I would like to tell the donors that I thank them and I am so grateful for this opportunity because without this and because without people like them in this world I don’t know if I’d be this far in my educational journey and because it’s people like them that give me this opportunity.I would like to thank the donors because without them and people like them in this world, I don’t think I’d be this far in my educational journey.”

—Ladan Mohamed
Union Student Leader Scholarship

“The College of Fine Arts has supported my education through countless opportunity, resources, but most importantly, a tight-knit community. From the film program and its room for creativity to ArtsForce providing access to connecting with professionals to being a hub of incredibly bright and motivated students, I can’t imagine having my college education any different. Choosing film and animation as my career has been the single best decision of my life.”

—Taylor Mott
Department of Film & Media Arts Student 

“I just want the donors to know that I am thankful for this cause, I will most likely not have to pull out any student loans for next year. It’s going to make it a lot easier for me to do stuff and not have to stress about finances.”

—Daniel Pacheco
Dining Services & Union Scholarship

“I would want to tell the donors that this assistance is going to go a long way, it’s going to give me the opportunity to be more involved with my community and that alone will have a big effect in the community and also with my parents, they are struggling financially and always striving to give me money and provide that money for college, but it’s hard on them too and so being able to get this scholarship will allow me to focus on my studies and to achieve a bachelor’s degree here at the U of U. And also bringing it back to the community and provide those same resources that I have obtained, to others in a similar path as me and just thank you so much for choosing me and giving this opportunity to me.”

—Sinndy Rios
Dreamers Connecting our Community Union Scholarship

“Thank you so much for believing in us for fostering this community for always believing in us even when we don’t believe in ourselves. And giving us opportunities like this really will help us be more involved and help us develop ourselves and hopefully advance the U as a community, so yeah. Thank you!Thank you so much for believing in us, even when we sometimes don’t believe in ourselves. Opportunities like this really help us get more involved and develop ourselves personally and advance the U of U as a community. Thank you!”

—Ghada Shehab
Refugees Connecting our Community Union Scholarship

“Just knowing that all my efforts and involvement are being appreciated and recognized so it has made me want to keep doing what I’m doing. And keep pushing for more. I just sincerely want to thank all the donors.”

—Su Myat Sin
Union Student Leader Scholarship

“I am so thankful to be awarded a scholarship that will aid with the costs of training as a Ballet Major in the School of Dance. With this award, I’ll be able to continue to cultivate my craft with some of the top faculty in the nation, alongside my fellow peers who all strive for success and motivate me every day.”

—Ryan Stroble
Fine Arts Advisory Board Scholarship recipient
Ballet Major in the School of Dance

“I wanted to say thank you for this big opportunity, I am grateful for the funding that they sent. I know that they are not only helping me but also helping a lot of other students with their education, and letting us have a higher education too.I wanted to say thank you for this big opportunity, I am so grateful for the funding and scholarship. I know that they are not only helping me but also helping a lot of other students with their education, and letting us have that opportunity too.”

—Reyna Tovar-Solis
Union Student Leader Scholarship

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for making the student affairs diversity council and union student leader scholarship possible. It is truly a great honor and I’m very happy to be selected as one of the recipients of your scholarships. Growing up in a less privileged community has brought me challenges not only financially but also academically. These experiences have helped me realize the value and importance of a college education. I’m a first-generation student in my family to attend college, therefore, this scholarship will help me greatly by enabling me to continue pursuing my academic and personal growth here at the University of Utah. I give you my word that I will work hard and make good use of this scholarship. I will always be grateful for your generosity and your kindness.  Your kindness has inspired and motivated me to give back to the community even more. I look forward to helping other students achieve their goals just as you have helped me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a great positive role model to those who think that it is impossible to pursue a higher education and motive them to keep trying and to never give up. Thank you.I give you my word that I will work hard and make good use of this scholarship. I will always be grateful for your generosity and your kindness. Your kindness has inspired and motived me to give back to the community even more.”

—Reyna Villegas
Student Affairs Diversity Council & Union Scholarship

“I have been given plenty of opportunities through the ACCESS Program including the opportunity to conduct research under Dr. Cynthia Burrows. Because of my experience in the lab, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry and am currently working on my degree. I have been able to write and publish papers in acclaimed scientific journals and attend conferences to present my research to the public. However, what I am most thankful for, are the people that I have been able to meet because of the program. I was able to connect to professors and form valuable relationships with my mentors. I was able to learn from my peers and learn about the ups and downs of graduate school from the people that were currently experiencing it. And lastly, I was able to form friendships with a group of amazing women that I proudly call my ACCESS cohort. This program has profoundly changed the course of my life in ways I never intended, for which I am very grateful.”

—Judy Zhu, Chemistry, Alumna of the College of Science ACCESS Program