For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Daphene Norwood

5115

Bold Points

2x

Nominee

2x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

I am a non-traditional, first generation, adult student attending Grand Canyon University. I am a junior majoring in finance and economics. My GPA is 4.0. I will be a first-generation college graduate. I am working full-time and helping support my daughter and three grandchildren. I want to use my education to empower and educate people in my community in the areas of finance, economics, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation. I want to be a mentor and a role model to young people. I am a Christian, a mother, a grandmother, and an active citizen. In my free time, I love to listen to music, read, play my violin, cook, decorate, and travel. I am a student member of the American Economic Association and the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants).

Education

Grand Canyon University

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Finance and Financial Management Services
    • Business/Managerial Economics

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Associate's degree program
1987 - 1987
  • Majors:
    • Accounting and Computer Science

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Finance and Financial Management Services
    • Business/Managerial Economics
    • Accounting and Related Services
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Financial Services

    • Dream career goals:

      Certified Financial Planning, Business Analytics, & Economics

    • Accounting Assistant, Investment and Tax

      Stedman West Interests, Inc.
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Senior Accountant

      Houston Bulldog Capital Management LLC
      2014 – 20228 years
    • General Accountant, AR Accountant, AP Accountant

      Wood Group
      2008 – 20146 years

    Sports

    Cross-Country Running

    Junior Varsity
    1980 – 19811 year

    Research

    • Religion/Religious Studies

      Grand Canyon University — Student
      2023 – 2023

    Arts

    • Church and school

      Music
      1976 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Depelchin Children Services — I fostered a child
      2014 – 2021

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Fall Favs: A Starbucks Stan Scholarship
    I have been a Starbuck's coffee junkie for a very long time. However, I tend to frequent Starbucks more in the fall. My favorite fall drink is the Pumpkin Creme Cold Brew. This creamy coffee concoction with vanilla and pumpkin spice never fails to warm me up and put me in a relaxed mood. I typically travel more in the fall towards the holidays. While I am in the airport, hurrying to my gate, I always carve out some time to stop by the Starbucks and order a venti Pumpkin Creme Cold Brew with whipped creme. Once I board my flight and get settled in, I sip this delightful beverage and read a book until I reach my destination. Usually, I am headed to Atlanta to visit my daughter and my wonderful grandchildren. Sometimes while I'm visiting, my daughter will go to Starbuck's in the morning before I even wake up and get us coffees which is awesome. I'm an absolute ogre without my morning coffee and everyone who knows me knows this fact. The Pumpkin Creme Cold Brew and other seasonal Starbuck's coffees have become staples in my college career. I have spent many long nights studying or writing papers. Usually, a cold brew served as the perfect accoutrement. Having a relaxed focus and mental clarity has helped me maintain a 4.0 grade point average as a third year undergraduate finance and economics major. It's important to remain alert so that the numbers don't start running together. Working as a private equity accountant in an investment and tax department can be stressful and demanding. But, if I have a Pumpkin Creme Cold Brew in hand, I can imagine being elsewhere. I can envision being in a winter lodge in Colorado watching a crackling fire and socializing with skiers. The momentary satisfaction of this sweet, velvety concoction is work the price of admission any day of the week. I have three grandchildren and I know that I had a Starbuck's coffee in hand each time my daughter went into labor. Coffee is very comforting to me. I started drinking it when I was four years old. My great grandmother gave me some with sugar and lots of cream. I remember it just as if it were yesterday. My mother said no but my great grandmother convinced her to allow me to have a little bit. I was hooked. Fifty years of comfort and enjoyment from the aroma and flavor of coffee. I can't wait until this fall; so I can wrap my hands around a nice, venti Pumpkin Creme Cold Brew.
    Iliana Arie Scholarship
    Being a divorced, single, working mother has been very challenging. My mother was a single, divorced mother, as well. My mother struggled to make ends meet to provide for me and my brother. I am proud to say we survived. I had no financial assistance from my daughter's father, so I often worked two and three jobs just to make ends meet. Fortunately, I took a bookkeeping class in high school. My teacher, Ms. Lilian Rayford, encouraged me to pursue a career in business. So, I obtained an associate degree with an emphasis in accounting by the age of nineteen. As a result, I had a sound foundation for a career. Life is not often travelled in a straight line. Mine has been rippled with many twists, turns, and side roads. I found myself working quite a few dead end jobs until I reached my forties. I realized I'd reached a ceiling. I'd get a job, work my way up slowly, and hit another ceiling which was extremely frustrating. I just knew that I could do more and earn more if I just had the education. However, I eventually, got a job with potential and I took a job transfer that literally changed my life. The job transfer involved a move to Houston, Texas. Once I moved to Texas, I had to pivot again. I ended up fostering my first grandson for seven years. At the time, I was disheartened at first because I really wanted to go back to school. "A dream deferred really does make the heart sick." However, those seven years were some of the best years of my life. Having custody of my grandson motivated me to pursue better jobs. I ended up getting a job as a private equity accountant for a wealthy family. I worked for them for nine years. I learned a lot and it really changed the way that I view money and wealth management. Eventually, I was able to help my daughter find level ground and she got custody of her son. Suddenly, I became an empty nester. So, I enrolled in Grand Canyon University. My major is finance and economics. I want to obtain the Certified Financial Planner designation and start my own advisory firm. Also, I want to mentor other women who would like a career in finance. Most households are maintained by women; however, only thirty percent of women are financial planners and only two percent are African American. I want to change this statistic. I desire to help families learn how to budget and invest their money so that they can have better financial outcomes and possibly build generational wealth. Stronger families lead to better communities and, ultimately, a better country. My struggle has really shaped my career path because I continue to seek to improve myself in all areas, including financially. Hopefully, I can help others do the same. Attaining this scholarship will assist me toward that endeavor. In Iliana Arie's words, I've got this.
    Rivera-Gulley First-Gen Scholarship Award
    I never thought that I would be going back to college at fifty-five, but life has many twist and turns. I was a single, divorced mom in my twenties and thirties, and I worked two and three jobs just to make ends meet. Once my daughter was grown, I prepared to re-enroll into a degree program. Unexpectedly, I ended up getting custody of and fostering my one-year-old grandson. I cared for him for seven years and I gave him all the love and care that his parents couldn't at the time. I was working full-time, as well, so that left little time for anything else. Even so, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. After the pandemic, my grandson was able to return to my daughter. I enrolled in Grand Canyon University. My major is finance and economics. I took two classes and I currently have a 4.0 grade point average. Then, unfortunately, my mother got sick and passed away in February. She was the caregiver of my uncle who was mentally disabled. He passed away three weeks later. As a result, I had to take a break to grieve and handle some of my mother's affairs. One of the last things my mother asked me was to keep going until I finished college. Education was very important to my mother and it's very important to me. I plan on getting this degree for her and for me. Once I obtain my degree, I will finally eliminate a career glass ceiling that I've been trying to break for decades. Having these various circumstances occur in my life has made me a more resilient individual. It has also made me more compassionate toward others who may have similar plights. As a single mom who had little familial and financial support, I see the growing need for people, especially, women of color, to have a voice and a presence in the financial space. According to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, less the 2% of certified financial planners are African American women. I intend to increase statistic. I want to become a certified financial planner and open my own advisory firm. I want to educate and coach people so that they can make better financial decisions for their families. I’d also like to mentor young women who desire a career in finance. Finances, or the lack of necessary finances, affect families and communities for generations. Financial literacy and planning are very important, especially in underprivileged communities. I'd also like to study behavioral economics, specifically, so that I can really help people understand why they make the financial decisions they make. When you understand the systemic cause of a problem, it's easier to find appropriate solutions. To become a certified financial planner, you must have an undergraduate degree. Obtaining the Rivera-Gulley First-Gen scholarship award will enable me to move closer to achieving my personal and professional goals.
    Kim Moon Bae Underrepresented Students Scholarship
    Financial literacy and empowerment are social issues that loom large in the African American community. It is my goal to help families achieve better financial outcomes and build generational wealth. Upon graduation, I want to spearhead financial literacy initiatives through schools and churches for greater impact within communities. I am an adult, non-traditional, undergraduate student attending Grand Canyon University while working full-time. I am seeking a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics. Currently, I am a junior with a 4.0 grade point average. I will be a first-generation college graduate. My mother passed away in February which was devasting for me. She instilled in me a strong desire to read and learn. My great-grandmother was the child of an emancipated slave. She had just an eighth-grade education, but she was an avid reader. Ultimately, she trained, became an entrepreneur, and started the first African American cosmetology school in her state. I learned a lot from her perseverance and work ethic. Ultimately, I want my children and grandchildren to know that you finish what you start no matter how long it takes. That's the legacy I'd like to leave to my family and the world. Graduating from college will lay the foundation for me to obtain certifications in financial planning and business analysis. During the pandemic, I studied and obtained life and health insurance licenses. I have found that many people are underinsured or don't have life insurance at all. This situation is extremely problematic, and it really hurts families and communities financially. Therefore, I plan to open my own investment advisory and consulting firm which will be a one stop shop for all things financial: budgeting, insurance, annuities, asset management, and advisory services. I want to help families stabilize their finances and build generational wealth. As a woman who was a single working mother, I understand the impact that finances can have on families and communities whole. I'd like to train and mentor others who want a career in the finance industry, as well. Education helps people communicate and interact better with each other. Prejudice is often a result of illogical ignorance. Learning about other cultures and societal norms is crucial to being able to solve some of the problems that plague our world today. We are all humans, and we should embrace our differences and use those to our advantage to make the world better. Gaining an education at home, in college, and in the workplace has empowered me to enter rooms I never thought I would, as an African American female working in private equity finance. An education and degree in finance and economics will be extremely valuable in the professional marketplace. According to the Certified Financial Planning Board, of the 92,000 planners who pass the rigorous training and tests and meet the ethics requirements needed to become certified, only 1.8% are African American. I desire to change this statistic. I believe education is the key. African American representation in finance, private equity in particular, is severely lacking, as well. If we fail to educate ourselves, we will never grow as a community and as a thriving demographic in society. I believe improvements can be made and I'd like to be a catalyst for positive change. Through financial literacy and economic empowerment initiatives that support diversity, equity, and inclusion, we can create communities that thrive, not just survive.
    MISS Award
    I am an adult, nontraditional, undergraduate student attending Grand Canyon University and majoring in finance and economics. I currently have a 4.0 grade point average while working full-time . I will graduate in 2025. I am not a traditional student because I am a fifty-six-year-old mother and grandmother. In addition, I will be a first generation college graduate. I was a single, divorced mother when my children were growing up. I worked two and three jobs to make ends meet. Then, I parented one of my grandchildren for seven years. College became a dream deferred until now. I want to obtain a Certification in Financial Planning and Business Analysis. In order to do so, I must have a bachelor’s degree. I want to help other single parents and struggling families create solid financial plans to build generational wealth. Also, I want to mentor young people who desire a similar career path. Motherhood has taught me that no matter how difficult life gets we must persevere. We must fight for the things that really matter to us most. We must fight to hold our families together. We must fight for our health, wealth, and happiness. We must fight to obtain our dreams and goals. Also, we must fight for those who are powerless to fight for themselves. In addition, we must be patient and compassionate. I learned these lessons from my mother: my number one cheerleader, my hero who passed away February 8, 2024, one day before her seventy fifth birthday and three days before my birthday. Losing my mother was one of the most heart wrenching experiences I've ever endured. Her death has taught me more about life and what it truly means than any other experiences I've had to date. My mother and her two siblings were orphans. Despite that, they all survived. My mother was a caregiver for the last thirty years of her life. She cared for my great-grandmother prior to her passing. Then, she cared for her mentally disabled brother for twenty years. She was a devout Christian. She literally laid down her life to serve others. She dreamed of going to college, but she was unable to do so. That did not stop her from teaching me how to read and how to strive for excellence in everything I do. I told my mother that I could not wait to fly her to Arizona to see me graduate. She was so proud of me. We looked forward to that day. However, God had other plans for my mother. I'm glad that she is no longer suffering, but I miss her terribly. Losing two close relatives within a month is tough but I have to keep moving forward. My mother would want me to do so. I am excited about making the world better as a CFP (certified financial planner) by promoting financial literacy and responsible stewardship; having ethical business practices; offering faith-based counseling; supporting charitable causes; maintaining integrity, transparency, and compassion; and promoting community advocacy and involvement. Financial literacy and responsible stewardship are important factors in aiding the advancement of underserved communities. Often, businesses exploit these communities financially. I want to become a catalyst for change by offering faith-based counseling which will help struggling families learn how to budget, grow their income, save and build generational wealth. By offering my clients compassionate, ethical, and honest advice tailored to their personal needs, I can help families build stronger financial foundations and build legacies that will benefit generations.
    Cat Zingano Overcoming Loss Scholarship
    My mother, my number one cheerleader, my hero passed away February 8, 2024, one day before her seventy fifth birthday and three days before my birthday. Losing my mother was one of the most heart wrenching experiences I've ever endured. Her death has taught me more about life and what it truly means than any other experiences I've had to date. My mother and her two siblings were orphans. Despite that, they all survived. My mother was a caregiver for the last thirty years of her life. She cared for my great-grandmother prior to her passing. Then, she cared for her mentally disabled brother for twenty years. She was a devout Christian. She literally laid down her life to serve others. She didn't stop until the ambulance came to pick her up and take her to the hospital where she would be transferred to hospice and then pass on. Her brother, who she cared for tirelessly, passed away three weeks later. Five months prior to my mother's death she had gallbladder surgery with complications that worsened over time. She didn't tell anyone how ill she was. She carried on. I started going back to college that August to complete a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics. I would be a first-generation college graduate. My mother was so proud. She dreamed of going to college, but she was unable to do so. That did not stop her from teaching me how to read and how to strive for excellence in everything I do. I told my mother that I could not wait to fly her to Arizona to see me graduate. We looked forward to that day. However, God had other plans for my mother. I'm glad that she is no longer suffering, but I miss her terribly. Losing two close relatives within a month is really tough but I have to keep moving forward. As a mother and grandmother, I learned that no matter how difficult life gets we must persevere. We must fight for the things that really matter to us most. We must fight to hold our families together. We must fight for our health, wealth, and happiness. We must fight to obtain our dreams and goals. Also, we must fight for those who are powerless to fight for themselves. As I watched my mother fight to live despite her afflictions, I learned about the power of having faith. One of the last things my mother said to me was, "Do not stop going to school. Finish." I intend to do so. I am a junior attending Grand Canyon University. I maintain a 4.0 grade point average while working full-time. I want to obtain a Certification in Financial Planning and Business Analysis and start my own financial management firm. In order to do so, I must have a bachelor's degree. I am not a traditional student. I am a fifty-six-year-old mother and grandmother. I was a single, divorced mother when my children were growing up, with very little financial support. I worked two and three jobs to make ends meet. Then, I parented one of my grandchildren for seven years. College became a dream deferred until now. I want to help other single parents and struggling families create solid financial plans to build generational wealth. Also, I want to mentor young people who desire a similar career path. Winning the Cat Zingano Overcoming Loss Scholarship will enable me to continue the fight.
    Zamora Borose Goodwill Scholarship
    I am Daphene R. Norwood, a fifty-six-year-old student and full-time employee seeking a degree in finance and economics at Grand Canyon University. I will be a first-generation college graduate. After graduation, I plan to enroll in a certified financial planner certification program. This program is very rigorous. The first requirement is a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Then, I must take an exam administered by the Certified Financial Planning Board. Lastly, I must have 6000 hours of financial planning experience and I must meet all ethical standards. I am insurance licensed and I'm currently working on obtaining the investment adviser license (series 65) which will enable me to meet that requirement. Having the CFP designation is a well- respected one in financial planning circles. It sets you apart from all the financial coaches and gurus giving advice. So, obtaining my degree will lay the groundwork for this goal. I feel that women, and especially women of color, are underrepresented in the world of finance, financial planning, and economics. Less than 2 percent of certified financial planners are women of color. I desire to help change this statistic. Good financial planning can change the trajectory of a family for generations. Change can start with one person obtaining the proper education. It is important to understand why people make the financial decisions they do, as well. Behavioral economics and finance are areas of study that will make me a better financial planner. It is my desire to educate families in the customized steps they can take to create generational wealth. Families can be more charitable when their own finances are better. Charitable endeavors can help underprivileged communities which helps all communities. I desire to mentor younger people in the field, pre and post college. I would like to speak to students in high school and in underprivileged communities about my personal journey to encourage them and, hopefully, inspire them to strive for excellence. I also want to help elder citizens in their legacy planning. My mother passed away in February. Her brother, who she was caregiver for, passed away three weeks later. There are so many considerations that must be made when a family must deal with a death, especially if it is sudden. I would like to help families plan for these situations. One of the things that I love about pursuing a career in finance and economics is the vast array of areas I can pursue, including entrepreneurship. I would like to have my own firm, so I could employ and mentor others. Entrepreneurship is great for a capitalistic society such as ours. I am not a traditional student. Pursuit of my education has been a long journey with many twists and turns. However, I am a lifelong learner. It is my desire to leave a legacy for my children, grandchildren, future generations, and community. If I can positively influence and impact the lives of others as well, then I feel that I will have served my God given purpose on Earth.
    Harry & Mary Sheaffer Scholarship
    I am Daphene R. Norwood, a fifty-six-year-old student and full-time employee seeking a degree in finance and economics at Grand Canyon University. I will be a first-generation college graduate. After graduation, I plan to enroll in a certified financial planner certification program. This program is very rigorous. The first requirement is a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Then, I must take an exam administered by the Certified Financial Planning Board. Lastly, I must have 6000 hours of financial planning experience and I must meet all ethical standards. I am insurance licensed and I'm currently working on obtaining the investment adviser license (series 65) which will enable me to meet that requirement. Having the CFP designation is a well- respected one in financial planning circles. It sets you apart from all the financial coaches and gurus giving advice. So, obtaining my degree will lay the groundwork for this goal. I feel that women, and especially women of color, are underrepresented in the world of finance, financial planning, and economics. Less than 2 percent of certified financial planners are women of color. I desire to help change this statistic. Good financial planning can change the trajectory of a family for generations. Change can start with one person obtaining the proper education. It is important to understand why people make the financial decisions they do, as well. Behavioral economics and finance are areas of study that will make me a better financial planner. It is my desire to educate families in the customized steps they can take to create generational wealth. Families can be more charitable when their own finances are better. Charitable endeavors can help underprivileged communities which helps all communities. I desire to mentor younger people in the field, pre and post college. I would like to speak to students in high school and in underprivileged communities about my personal journey to encourage them and, hopefully, inspire them to strive for excellence. I also want to help elder citizens in their legacy planning. My mother passed away in February. Her brother, who she was caregiver for, passed away three weeks later. There are so many considerations that must be made when a family must deal with a death, especially if it is sudden. I would like to help families plan for these situations. One of the things that I love about pursuing a career in finance and economics is the vast array of areas I can pursue, including entrepreneurship. I would like to have my own firm, so I could employ and mentor others. Entrepreneurship is great for a capitalistic society such as ours. I am not a traditional student. Pursuit of my education has been a long journey with many twists and turns. However, I am a lifelong learner. It is my desire to leave a legacy for my children, grandchildren, future generations, and community. If I can positively influence and impact the lives of others as well, then I feel that I will have served my God given purpose on Earth.
    CATALYSTS Scholarship
    Financial literacy and empowerment are social issues that loom large in the African American community. It is my goal to help families achieve better financial outcomes and build generational wealth. I want to spearhead some financial literacy initiatives through churches for greater impact within communities. I am an adult, non-traditional, undergraduate student attending Grand Canyon University while working full-time. I am seeking a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics. Currently, I am a junior with a 4.0 grade point average. I will be a first generation college graduate. My mother passed away in February which was devasting for me. She instilled in me a strong desire to read and learn. My great-grandmother was the child of an emancipated slave. She had just an eighth grade education but she was an avid reader. Ultimately, she trained, became an entrepreneur, and started the first African American cosmetology school in her state. I learned a lot from her perseverance and work ethic. Ultimately, I want my children and grandchildren to know that you finish what you start no matter how long it takes. That's the legacy I'd like to leave to my family and the world. Graduating from college will lay the foundation for me to obtain certifications in financial planning and business analysis. During the pandemic, I studied and obtained life and health insurance licenses. I have found that many people are underinsured or don't have life insurance at all. This situation is extremely problematic and it really hurts families financially. Therefore, I plan to open my own investment advisory and consulting firm which will be a one stop shop for all things financial: budgeting, insurance, annuities, asset management, and advisory services. According to the Certified Planning Financial Board, less than two percent of certified financial planners are African American women. I want to change that statistic. I want to help families stabilize their finances and build generational wealth. As a woman who was a single working mother, I understand the impact that finances can have on families and communities, as a whole. I'd like to train and mentor others who want a career in the finance industry, as well. I believe a person who is a catalyst for change is dedicated and motivated. I believe it is a person who perseveres and is willing to pursue the unknown. I believe it is a person who is willing to be the first. I believe it is a person who is willing to do what it takes, morally and ethically, to succeed. I believe I am that person. Obtaining the C.A.T.A.L.Y.S.T scholarship will aid me in my goal of helping change the world.
    Joy Of Life Inspire’s AAA Scholarship
    "A dream deferred makes the heart sick." I never thought that I would be going back to college at fifty-five, but many life circumstances made the journey difficult. I was a single mom in my twenties and thirties, and I worked two and three jobs just to make ends meet. Once my daughter was grown, I prepared to re-enroll into a degree program. Unexpectedly, I ended up getting custody of and fostering my one-year-old grandson. Loving and caring for someone who cannot give you anything back in return is agape love. I cared for him for seven years and I gave him all the love and care that his parents couldn't at the time. I was working full-time, as well, so that left little time for anything else. Even so, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. After the pandemic, my grandson was able to return to my daughter. I enrolled in Grand Canyon University. My major is finance and economics. I took two classes and I currently have a 4.0 grade point average. Then, unfortunately, my mother got sick and passed away in February. She was the caregiver of my uncle who was mentally disabled. He passed away three weeks later. As a result, I had to take a break to grieve and handle some of my mother's affairs. One of the last things my mother asked me was to keep going until I finished college. Education was very important to my mother and it's very important to me. I plan on getting this degree for her and for me. I will return to school in May. Having these various circumstances occur in my life has made me a more resilient individual. It has also made me more compassionate toward others who may have similar plights. As a single mom who had little familial and financial support, I see the growing need for people, especially, women of color, to have a voice and a presence in the financial space. According to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, less the 2% of certified financial planners are African American women. I intend to increase that number. I want to become a certified financial planner to educate and coach people so that they can make better financial decisions for their families. Finances, or the lack of necessary finances, affect families and communities for generations. Financial literacy and planning are very important, especially in underprivileged communities. I'd also like to study behavioral economics, specifically, so that I can really help people understand why they make the financial decisions they make. When you understand the systemic cause of a problem, it's easier to find appropriate solutions. To become a certified financial planner, you must have an undergraduate degree. Obtaining this scholarship will enable me to move closer to this goal and the goal of helping families experience better financial outcomes through good stewardship.
    Eitel Scholarship
    "A dream deferred makes the heart sick." I never thought that I would be going back to college at fifty-five, but many life circumstances made the journey difficult. I was a single mom in my twenties and thirties, and I worked two and three jobs just to make ends meet. Once my daughter was grown, I prepared to re-enroll into a degree program. Unexpectedly, I ended up getting custody of and fostering my one-year-old grandson. I cared for him for seven years and I gave him all the love and care that his parents couldn't at the time. I was working full-time, as well, so that left little time for anything else. Even so, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. After the pandemic, my grandson was able to return to my daughter. I enrolled in Grand Canyon University. My major is finance and economics. I took two classes and I currently have a 4.0 grade point average. Then, unfortunately, my mother got sick and passed away in February. She was the caregiver of my uncle who was mentally disabled. He passed away three weeks later. As a result, I had to take a break to grieve and handle some of my mother's affairs. One of the last things my mother asked me was to keep going until I finished college. Education was very important to my mother and it's very important to me. I plan on getting this degree for her and for me. I will return to school in May. Having these various circumstances occur in my life has made me a more resilient individual. It has also made me more compassionate toward others who may have similar plights. As a single mom who had little familial and financial support, I see the growing need for people, especially, women of color, to have a voice and a presence in the financial space. According to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, less the 2% of certified financial planners are African American women. I intend to increase that number. I want to become a certified financial planner to educate and coach people so that they can make better financial decisions for their families. Finances, or the lack of necessary finances, affect families and communities for generations. Financial literacy and planning are very important, especially in underprivileged communities. I'd also like to study behavioral economics, specifically, so that I can really help people understand why they make the financial decisions they make. When you understand the systemic cause of a problem, it's easier to find appropriate solutions. To become a certified financial planner, you must have an undergraduate degree. Obtaining this scholarship will enable me to move closer to this goal and the goal of helping families experience better financial outcomes through good stewardship.
    A Man Helping Women Helping Women Scholarship
    "A dream deferred makes the heart sick." I never thought that I would be going back to college at fifty-five, but many life circumstances made the journey difficult. I was a single mom in my twenties and thirties, and I worked two and three jobs just to make ends meet. Once my daughter was grown, I prepared to re-enroll into a degree program. Unexpectedly, I ended up getting custody of and fostering my one-year-old grandson. I cared for him for seven years and I gave him all the love and care that his parents couldn't at the time. I was working full-time, as well, so that left little time for anything else. Even so, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. After the pandemic, my grandson was able to return to my daughter. I enrolled in Grand Canyon University. My major is finance and economics. I took two classes and I currently have a 4.0 grade point average. Then, unfortunately, my mother got sick and passed away in February. She was the caregiver of my uncle who was mentally disabled. He passed away three weeks later. As a result, I had to take a break to grieve and handle some of my mother's affairs. One of the last things my mother asked me was to keep going until I finished college. Education was very important to my mother and it's very important to me. I plan on getting this degree for her and for me. Having these various circumstances occur in my life has made me a more resilient individual. It has also made me more compassionate toward others who may have similar plights. As a single mom who had little familial and financial support, I see the growing need for people, especially, women of color, to have a voice and a presence in the financial space. According to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, less the 2% of certified financial planners are African American women. I intend to increase that number. I want to become a certified financial planner to educate and coach people so that they can make better financial decisions for their families. Finances, or the lack of necessary finances, affect families and communities for generations. Financial literacy and planning are very important, especially in underprivileged communities. I'd also like to study behavioral economics, specifically, so that I can really help people understand why they make the financial decisions they make. When you understand the systemic cause of a problem, it's easier to find appropriate solutions. To become a certified financial planner, you must have an undergraduate degree. Obtaining this scholarship will enable me to move closer to this goal and the goal of helping families experience better financial outcomes. Financially stable homes set the foundation for better communities and a better America.
    Simon Strong Scholarship
    I have faced much adversity in my life. First, as a single working mother raising a child without financial support from the father. Later, I fostered one of my grandchildren for seven years while working. I came from a household of divorced parents, so I recognize the pattern. The odds for success are not in my favor. However, with my faith in Jesus Christ and perseverance, I am beating the odds. I will become a first-generation college graduate next year at the age of fifty-seven. I believe adversity develops character and strength. A person without wealth and familial support has no choice but to get out there and "just do it". Fortunately, I obtained an associate degree in general studies with an accounting emphasis in 1989. With that education, I was able to obtain employment that paid a livable wage. However, promotions took a while. Even though I had a great work ethic and experience, I didn't have a bachelor's degree. Many mid-level accounting and finance jobs require it. So, I was disqualified from those positions. As a result, I worked two or three jobs just to make ends meet sometimes. I didn't let it stop me. Even though "dreams deferred do make the heart sick." I wanted to go back to college. I just had to wait. In 2012, I took a lateral job transfer from Georgia to Houston, and it changed my life. I thought I would be able to start school at this point, but God had other plans. After two years in Houston, I ended up getting custody of my grandson, I was 45 at the time and he was a full-time job in addition to my actual job. Then, I started working as an accountant for high wealth individuals and families. The pay was great, and I learned so much about finance. At that point, I decided I would, eventually, return to college and major in finance and economics. It took seven years. By that time, my grandchild had gone back to live with his mother. Then, the pandemic hit. I had quite a bit of free time because I worked in the office alone while my boss quarantined out of state. I decided since I wanted to get into finance, I should study and get insurance licensing as a backup. I have life, health, property, and casualty licenses. I continued and obtained a few securities licenses. All of these certifications are the perfect foundation for my future career as a Certified Financial Planner. Less than 2% of CFPs are African American. Even less than 2%, are African American women. But I love the challenges that adversity brings. In 2023, I enrolled in Grand Canyon University. My current grade point average is 4.0. All my life experiences up to this point have prepared me for a bright future in finance. I would say to anyone who is facing adversity, don't give up no matter how long it takes. Don't think about what you don't have and what you can't do. Think about what you can do with your God given assets and leverage them. Eventually, you will reach your destination. I plan to.
    Augustus L. Harper Scholarship
    Education is achieved over one's entire lifetime. There are formal and informal types of education. However, for me, the pursuit of a college education has great significance for me. My mother, who taught me the basics, passed away this February. It was very important to her that I obtain a college education, even though she did have one nor could she afford to send me. I promised her that I would not stop until I finished college. In addition, my great grandmother, who was the child of a freed slave valued education and taught me to value it, as well. She had an eighth-grade education. So, I will be a first-generation graduate in 2025. I am a junior at Grand Canyon University majoring in Finance and Economics. I've always been intrigued in the movement of money, consumer behavior regarding money, financial markets, and financial literacy. I believe that the quality of life for many individuals, families, and communities can be improved if people obtain a better understanding of what money can do for them, if used properly. I've always been an avid reader and researcher of information. I, even, worked in the library in high school. I feel that if you aren't knowledgeable on a topic, it behooves you to attempt to learn more about it. Therefore, I hope that I can use my education to help others become more literate in the area of finance, especially personal finance. I want to become a Certified Financial Planner and business analyst. Education helps people communicate and interact better with each other. Prejudice is often a result of illogical ignorance. Learning about other cultures and societal norms is crucial to being able to solve some of the problems that plague our world today. We are all humans, and we should embrace our differences and use those to our advantage to make the world better. Gaining an education at home, in college, and in the workplace has empowered me to enter rooms I never thought I would, as an African American female working in private equity finance. An education in finance has been extremely valuable, personally and in the job market. According to the Certified Financial Planning Board, of the 92,000 planners who pass the rigorous training and tests and meet the ethics requirements needed to become certified, only 1.8% are African American. Less than 1.8% are female. I desire to change this statistic. I believe education is the key. African American representation in finance, private equity in particular, is severely lacking, as well. If we fail to educate ourselves, we will never grow as a community and as a thriving demographic in society. I believe improvements can be made and I'd like to be a catalyst for positive change.
    Jennifer Gephart Memorial Working Mothers Scholarship
    Winner
    Being a divorced, single, working mother has been very challenging. I am proud to say, I have survived. I had no financial assistance from my daughter's father, so I, often, worked two and three jobs just to make ends meet. Fortunately, I took a bookkeeping class in high school. My teacher, Ms. Lilian Rayford, encouraged me to pursue a career in business. So, I obtained an associate degree with an emphasis in accounting by the age of nineteen. As a result, I had a sound foundation for a career. Life is not often travelled in a straight line. Mine has been rippled with many twists, turns, and side roads. I found myself working quite a few dead end jobs until I reached my forties. I realized I'd reached a ceiling. I'd get a job, work my way up slowly, and hit another ceiling which was extremely frustration. I just knew that I could do more and earn more if I just had the education. However, I eventually, got a job with potential and I took a job transfer that literally changed my life. The job transfer involved a move to Houston, Texas. Once I moved to Texas, I had to pivot again. I ended up fostering my first grandson for seven years. At the time, I was disheartened at first because I really wanted to go back to school. "A dream deferred really does make the heart sick." However, those seven years were some of the best years of my life. Having custody of my grandson also spurred my on to pursue better jobs. I ended up getting a job as a private equity accountant for a wealthy family. I worked for them for nine years. I learned a lot and it really changed the way that I view money and wealth management. Eventually, I was able to help my daughter find level ground and she got custody of her son. All of a sudden, I became an empty nester. So, I enrolled in Grand Canyon University. My major is finance and economics. I want to obtain the Certified Financial Planner designation and start my own advisory firm. Also, I want to mentor other women who would like a career in finance. Most households are maintained by women; however, only thirty percent of women are financial planners and only two of those women are African American. I want to help change this statistic. I desire to help families learn how to budget and invest their money so that they can have better financial outcomes and possibly build generational wealth. Stronger families leads to better communities and, ultimately, a better country. My struggle has really shaped my career path because I continue to seek to improve myself in all areas, including financially. Hopefully, I can help others do the same. Attaining this scholarship will assist me toward that endeavor.
    Advancement of Minorities in Finance Scholarship
    "A dream deferred makes the heart sick." I never thought that I would be going back to college at fifty-five, but many life circumstances made the journey difficult. I was a single mom in my twenties and thirties, and I worked two and three jobs just to make ends meet. Once my daughter was grown, I prepared to re-enroll into a degree program. Unexpectedly, I ended up getting custody of and fostering my one-year-old grandson. I cared for him for seven years and I gave him all the love and care that his parents couldn't at the time. I was working full-time, as well, so that left little time for anything else. Even so, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. After the pandemic, my grandson was able to return to my daughter. I enrolled in Grand Canyon University. My major is finance and economics. I took two classes and I currently have a 4.0 grade point average. Then, unfortunately, my mother got sick and passed away in February. She was the caregiver of my uncle who was mentally disabled. He passed away three weeks later. As a result, I had to take a break to grieve and handle some of my mother's affairs. One of the last things my mother asked me was to keep going until I finished college. Education was very important to my mother and it's very important to me. I plan on getting this degree for her and for me. I will return to school in May. Having these various circumstances occur in my life has made me a more resilient individual. It has also made me more compassionate toward others who may have similar plights. As a single mom who had little familial and financial support, I see the growing need for people, especially, women of color, to have a voice and a presence in the financial space. According to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, less the 2% of certified financial planners are African American women. I intend to increase that number. I want to become a certified financial planner and open my own advisory firm. I want to educate and coach people so that they can make better financial decisions for their families. I’d also like to mentor young women who desire a career in finance. Finances, or the lack of necessary finances, affect families and communities for generations. Financial literacy and planning are very important, especially in underprivileged communities. I'd also like to study behavioral economics, specifically, so that I can really help people understand why they make the financial decisions they make. When you understand the systemic cause of a problem, it's easier to find appropriate solutions. To become a certified financial planner, you must have an undergraduate degree. Obtaining this scholarship will enable me to move closer to this goal and the goal of helping families experience better financial outcomes.
    Eleanor Anderson-Miles Foundation Scholarship
    I am a non-traditional adult student attending Grand Canyon University. My major is finance and economics. I have always had the drive and emotional support; however, I often lacked access and funding for college. It has always been a dream and a life goal for me to get a college education; however, my mother couldn't afford to send me to college. Then, life got in the way, and after divorce I became a single mom. During that time, I worked two, and sometimes three, jobs to make ends meet. God got me through that stage of my life and with much prayer and hard work, I received some great job opportunities that have changed my life and my family's. My mother passed away on February 8th, 2024, one day before her 76th birthday and three days before my birthday. I had to put my classes on hold to take care of her affairs (I currently have a 4.0 GPA at Grand Canyon University). My mom's death has really had a profound effect on me. It has also increased my faith. She was very ill before she passed but fortunately, she was a devout believer in Jesus Christ. As she was transitioning, she was saying "Lord have mercy, Lord help me." In her darkest hour, she was calling on the Lord. My mother was a caretaker for my great-grandmother prior to her death. She was also the caretaker of her brother, my uncle, who was mentally disabled. He passed away three weeks later on March 1. I know they are both in heaven smiling down at me. My mom always wanted me to finish my education. It was one of her last requests. My faith in God and Jesus Christ has enabled me to weather many of life's storms: from working multiple jobs as a single mom, to becoming a licensed foster parent and raising one of my grandchildren for seven years, to helping support a wayward daughter get on her feet financially so that she could raise her children independently. I couldn't do any of this on my own, but I truly believe that with God all things are possible. Jeremiah 29:11 is my favorite scripture which I've always meditated upon, especially when I experience doubt. Dreams deferred make the heart sick. Not being able to go to college due to family financial circumstances, especially when you know what you can achieve, is heartbreaking. But I know that my time has come, and I will achieve and obtain everything that God has for me. When I obtain my degree, I plan to use my skills to help others obtain financial and spiritual freedom through proper stewardship of our God given resources. This scholarship would enable me to do so.
    Debra S. Jackson New Horizons Scholarship
    "A dream deferred makes the heart sick." I never thought that I would be going back to college at fifty-five, but many life circumstances made the journey difficult. I was a single mom in my twenties and thirties, and I worked two and three jobs just to make ends meet. Once my daughter was grown, I prepared to re-enroll into a degree program. Unexpectedly, I ended up getting custody of and fostering my one-year-old grandson. I cared for him for seven years and I gave him all the love and care that his parents couldn't at the time. I was working full-time, as well, so that left little time for anything else. Even so, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. After the pandemic, my grandson was able to return to my daughter. I enrolled in Grand Canyon University. My major is finance and economics. I took two classes and I currently have a 4.0 grade point average. Then, unfortunately, my mother got sick and passed away in February. She was the caregiver of my uncle who was mentally disabled. He passed away three weeks later. As a result, I had to take a break to grieve and handle some of my mother's affairs. One of the last things my mother asked me was to keep going until I finished college. Education was very important to my mother and it's very important to me. I plan on getting this degree for her and for me. I will return to school in May. Having these various circumstances occur in my life has made me a more resilient individual. It has also made me more compassionate toward others who may have similar plights. As a single mom who had little familial and financial support, I see the growing need for people, especially, women of color, to have a voice and a presence in the financial space. According to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, less the 2% of certified financial planners are African American women. I intend to increase that number. I want to become a certified financial planner to educate and coach people so that they can make better financial decisions for their families. Finances, or the lack of necessary finances, affect families and communities for generations. Financial literacy and planning are very important, especially in underprivileged communities. I'd also like to study behavioral economics, specifically, so that I can really help people understand why they make the financial decisions they make. When you understand the systemic cause of a problem, it's easier to find appropriate solutions. To become a certified financial planner, you must have an undergraduate degree. Obtaining this scholarship will enable me to move closer to this goal and the goal of helping families experience better financial outcomes.
    Fearless Females and Finance Scholarship
    As an African American female aspiring to become a certified financial planner and entrepreneur, I possess a unique opportunity to empower my community through my career endeavors. My journey in the field of finance and entrepreneurship will serve as a catalyst for positive change, providing inspiration, resources, and guidance to uplift individuals within my community. Here are several ways I plan to leverage my career to empower those around me: First and foremost, representation matters. By pursuing a career in finance and entrepreneurship, I will challenge stereotypes and demonstrate that individuals from underrepresented backgrounds can excel in these fields. My presence will serve as a beacon of hope and encouragement for other African American females who may aspire to pursue similar paths. Through my accomplishments, I will break down barriers and pave the way for future generations to follow in my footsteps. Education is key to empowerment. As a certified financial planner, I can educate members of the community on financial literacy and wealth management. Many African American communities face disparities in access to financial education and resources. By offering workshops, seminars, and one-on-one consultations, I can equip individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to make informed financial decisions, build wealth, and secure their futures. Empowering individuals with financial literacy not only improves their own financial well-being but also strengthens the economic resilience of the community as a whole. Entrepreneurship provides avenues for economic empowerment and self-sufficiency. By starting my own business or supporting aspiring entrepreneurs within the community, I can help create opportunities for economic advancement. I will facilitate establishing mentorship programs, providing funding or grants for startups, or offering resources and guidance on business development and management. Encouraging entrepreneurship fosters innovation, job creation, and economic growth within the community, while also fostering a spirit of self-reliance and empowerment. In addition to individual empowerment, community empowerment is essential for long-term progress. I can get involved in community initiatives and advocacy efforts aimed at addressing systemic issues such as economic inequality, access to capital, and racial discrimination. I can also use my platform and expertise to advocate for policies and programs that promote economic equity and social justice. I can collaborate with local organizations, government agencies, and stakeholders to implement sustainable solutions that uplift and empower marginalized communities. Furthermore, I can be a role model and mentor. I can share my experiences, insights, and lessons learned with aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs within the community. I can provide guidance, encouragement, and support to help them navigate challenges and achieve their goals. By paying it forward and investing in the next generation of leaders, I will perpetuate a cycle of empowerment and create lasting impact beyond my own career. In conclusion, as an African American female, aspiring certified financial planner, and entrepreneur, I have the power to make a profound difference in the community. By leveraging my skills, knowledge, and passion, I can inspire, educate, and empower individuals to achieve financial independence, pursue their dreams, and contribute to the collective advancement of the community. My journey is not only a testament to my own resilience and determination but also a beacon of hope for those who follow in my footsteps. I will seize the opportunity to be a catalyst for positive change and leave a legacy of empowerment that transcends generations.