Until recently, staying connected to Carroll had proven to be difficult for Griselda Macias ’08. That changed when she became a contributor to the Opportunity Scholarship Fund. And it changed even more when she unexpectedly saw the impact of her donations in person.
Created by President Cindy Gnadinger, the fund provides a lifeline for diverse students who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education. Funds from the scholarship help with the recruitment and retention of those students.
Contributing to the scholarship seemed like a perfect way for Macias to start staying connected. “I really care about diversity, making sure we’re supporting students and helping them persist through their program. Not only students of color, but all students,” she said.
Learn more about the University's efforts to increase diversity on campus here.
Macias currently works at New Futures, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. She mentors and advises non-traditional college students through their educational journey. Her professional interest in working with students aligned with her desire to reconnect with Carroll.
In March, Macias registered to volunteer with students visiting Washington, D.C., on an Alternative Spring Break trip. Macias was excited to reconnect with her alma mater and to volunteer side-by-side with students as, together, they gave the gift of time. “I wanted to know more about their experience,” she said. “I wanted to know how similar it was to mine or how it’s different and, if it’s different, how exciting it is.” But she had not anticipated that one of those students was benefiting from her gift to the Opportunity Scholarship Fund.
While talking with the students about Carroll’s transformation over the past 11 years, Macias discovered that one of the students had made her decision to attend Carroll based on her financial aid package. In fact, she was a recipient of an Opportunity Scholarship.
Macias said she choked up when she discovered this and a tear formed in her eye. Seeing a direct impact of her donations suddenly made her connection to Carroll feel tangible: “I feel like the small donations I give financially or the time I’m giving are impacting someone. I’m seeing someone benefiting from it.”