Scholarship support empowers domestic violence survivors

December 14, 2012

Melissa Arellano-Murasky’s support provides scholarships for ASU students who experienced domestic violence

“Education is something that can’t be taken away. It empowers people.” Download Full Image

These words from Melissa Arellano-Murasky speak to the heart of her desire to provide scholarships to Arizona State University students who have been victims of domestic violence. She has experience with domestic violence – in her own life and through her experience working at a shelter. “I saw so many women who didn’t have access to education, forced to return to their homes and their abusers. They felt trapped.”

More than a decade ago, on the recommendation of her financial advisor, Murasky began working with the ASU Foundation for A New American University to establish a scholarship fund. “I had a great experience working with the foundation,” Murasky says. “With my involvement in the process, they worked out all the details.” She continues to add to the fund in the hope it will grow, and her goal is $1 million. “It has paid out five scholarships so far,” She says proudly.

She has also taken out a life insurance policy with the foundation named as beneficiary in order to reach her goal. “The policy is a good way to maximize my money and it ensures my legacy,” she says.

A meaningful part of the whole effort for Melissa has been the thank-you letters she receives. “The very first recipient wrote to me of her horrific experience and how she had survived and is caring for a son with special needs,” Murasky remembers. “She is now going to be able to support him. It was such an inspiration to continue making these gifts. It taught me if you really want to get something done, you can.”

Murasky’s husband supports her commitment, and she has shared her plans with her young children as well. “I hope to inspire them to continue what I have started.”

Her only regret in this whole experience is that she wishes she had more to give. “Having the foundation choose the recipients each year is difficult when there are so many who could benefit. Sometimes it boils down to looking at what they are studying and answering the question, ‘Where is the capacity for the most change in the world?’”

Her generosity is – and will be – a catalyst for change in the lives of many deserving students.

On the 3rd day of giving, support our military

December 15, 2012

As Arizona State University gears up to win the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Dec. 29, in San Francisco, the university is taking the opportunity to offer suggestions for 12 Days of Giving in order to make a big difference this season and celebrate the university’s outreach role in the community.

Day 3
Help our armed forces spend the holiday with their families. Download Full Image

ASU startup AlphaStripe, the social media platform for military members, veterans and civilian supporters to connect and document their experiences, has launched its "Home for the Holidays" initiative which will award up to four military members a roundtrip airline ticket to go home for the holidays.

Service men and women, along with their loved ones, are encouraged to visit and share their best military related stories, along with photos and videos, to have a chance to win one of four roundtrip tickets home to reunite with their loved ones for the holidays.

AlphaStripe site members will then be invited to share their story via their social networks and collect Salutes (likes). The four stories with the most Salutes will be selected as the winners of the AlphaStripe Home for the Holidays competition.

"We want AlphaStripe to be a place where people connect and share their military-related life experiences," said Jason Brown, AlphaStripe co-founder and chief veterans affair’s officer. Brown is a veteran with over eight years of dedicated service in the U.S. Army which included four deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Regardless of rank or financial need, we think that every person who held up their right hand in protection of this country should have the opportunity to be rewarded by the very people they are protecting," Brown says. "As a veteran, I understand fully the sacrifice these military members and their families make. The AlphaStripe Home for the Holidays competition is our humble attempt to honor you and yours for your amazing service to our country."

Submissions began Dec. 1 and end Dec. 20. The winners will be announced Dec. 21. Anyone with a military story to share is encouraged and welcomed to submit their story. Parties interested in supporting Home for the Holidays with sponsorship dollars are welcome to contact Brown via the AlphaStripe website.

Media contact:
Meagan Garrett,
SkySong | Marketing and Communications

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library