Concordia College’s need-based general scholarship fund is a lifeline for many of our students. This year the fund provided 350 students with over $2.5 million dollars in tuition assistance. The fund gets a big boost around the holiday season thanks to the college’s popular Give a Scholarship for Christmas program.
Conceived three years ago by Kathy Dresser, Concordia’s Director of Church Relations, the program uses colorful cardstock Christmas ornaments decorated with Concordia’s seal to promote a message of giving. Members of the Concordia community are mailed an ornament for their own tree; when they return a gift of $50 or more, a matching ornament goes up on the Christmas tree in Feth Hall. As the tree becomes more beautiful each day, it serves as reminder to all who see it of how much we owe to the generosity of our donors.
Those donors include Concordia’s generous staff and faculty, who pop into Kathy’s office to give a gift and receive their own ornaments. And particularly responsive to the appeal are the congregants of Concordia’s partnership of Lutheran churches: the East Coast Association of Congregations (ECAC).
100% of donations to the fund go directly to scholarships, and giving to Concordia’s need-based general scholarship fund is especially meaningful for the way its impact multiplies. Students who may not have attended college at all are here at Concordia, preparing for lives of passion, purpose and service that will ripple throughout the world.
And how do our future impact-makers feel about the support they receive? In a word, grateful. Jhanet Villa shares, “I look forward to the many changes and challenges in this new journey. I am the first one in my family to attend college.” Samantha Napiza says: “Every day I feel more and more prepared to be a teacher. It is amazing how much I am learning.” “I am studying to be a nurse,” says Dayanira Pena. “Both of my great grandmothers were midwives in their hometowns in Mexico. Everyone here believes in my success which is a powerful motivator for me to keep striving to reach my goals.” And according to Justin Butler, a pre-seminary and education major: “I am blessed with so many people in my life who want to see me succeed. I hope to continue doing the best I can to help give back to my community, the people who have been there for me, and the whole world.”