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Scholarships generate impact in classrooms, communities and beyond

A photo of PhD student Kenja Hassan against a white backdrop. She's wearing glasses and a blue blouse.

PhD student Kenja Hassan discusses the benefits of scholarships beyond just the financial ones.

January 25, 2017

At the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, ensuring student access and excellence is at the core of who we are. A rapidly increasing demand for health professionals coupled with the rising costs of education underscores the critical need for private support for our dedicated students.

According to PhD student Kenja Hassan, scholarships are so much more than financial assistance that have helped carry her through her degree program, for the generous support she has received has emerged into something far greater than that.

“Donors put an incredible amount of trust in us, the scholarship recipients, to make thoughtful and informed decisions as students and as future leaders, said Hassan. Donors make it possible for us to grow beyond our limits and push ourselves to live up to the trust they put in us.”

And she knows a thing or two about pushing herself beyond her limits.

Recognized for her work by the Phoenix Business Journal, the City of Phoenix Human Relations Commission, the Arizona Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee, the Phoenix Suns and PetSmart, Hassan is a passionate community leader who builds meaningful partnerships to strengthen Arizona communities. Through her research, Hassan works with HIV-positive women to overcome stigma and manage the virus. She believes that when a person invests in scholarships, they essentially invest directly in the many communities that scholarship recipients serve.

Communities like Latina and Native American populations, as Hassan points out, that learn proper eating habits for their unborn babies from fellow College of Nursing and Health Innovation student Autumn Argent. And communities of families who must endure the unspeakable pain of dealing with end-of-life decisions for their loved ones, an area in which Hassan’s schoolmate Jason Bradley cares more about as a result of his work as an ICU nurse.

“Donors inspire us to ‘pay it forward,’ to perpetuate that spirit of giving in the form of hard work toward excellent research,” said Hassan. Donors not only invest their money and faith in us as students, but through their act of giving, they acknowledge that the marginalized lives we seek to change have value too.”