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Sallie Mae® Awards $250,000 in Scholarships to Expand Opportunities To Students From Underserved Communities


The Bridging the Dream Scholarship for High School Seniors Provides 25 Students from Diverse Backgrounds With $10,000 to Help Fund Their Unique Path to Higher Education

In celebration of National Scholarship Month, Sallie Mae today announced the 25 recipients of its Bridging the Dream Scholarship for High School Seniors. The scholarship, in partnership with Thurgood Marshall College Fund, provides 25 deserving students from historically underserved communities with $10,000 each to help them access higher education.

This year’s 25 recipients from across the country were selected from more than 1,000 applications and excel both inside and outside of the classroom. The scholarship program is part of a $3 million commitment made by The Sallie Mae Fund, the charitable arm of Sallie Mae, to open doors for students from all backgrounds who are pursuing higher education.

"Scholarships can be a real difference maker in opening the doors of higher education, particularly to low-income, under-resourced, and underrepresented students, who often need the most support,” said Nic Jafarieh, executive vice president, Sallie Mae. “Our scholarship program and partnership with Thurgood Marshall College Fund continues to help level the playing field for those too often left out or left behind. This year’s diverse recipients are impressive and well on their way to accomplishing great things.”

“Our partnership with The Sallie Mae Fund means we can reach more students in need and those who may have thought higher education was out of reach,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, president and CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “These scholarships can change the lives of students and ensure they have the opportunity to pursue higher education and build successful college careers.”

This year’s Bridging the Dream Scholarship for High School Seniors recipients are:

  • Ebenezer Antw of Smyrna, Del. attending University of Delaware
  • Tariq Cunningham of Ft. Washington, Md. attending Bowie State University
  • Marisol Deanda of Schuyler, Neb. attending University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Dora De La Cruz-Martinez of West Liberty, Iowa attending St. Ambrose University
  • Bridgett Ellis of Hamilton, Mont. attending University of Montana Western
  • Courtney Exantus of Clarksville, Tenn. attending Middle Tennessee State University
  • Madison Garrett of Lindenhurst, N.Y. attending Columbia University
  • Jahni Glover of Conyers, Ga. attending North Carolina A&T State University
  • KamDyn Hardin of Citrus Heights, Calif. attending Jackson State University
  • Gracie Harmann of Racine, Wis. attending University of Wisconsin Whitewater
  • Chilynn Howard of Avon, Ind. attending Ball State University
  • Daaimah Husein of Cincinnati, Ohio attending Tennessee State University
  • Zion Jackson of Verona, Pa. attending University of Pittsburgh
  • Londyn Jefferson of Chicago, Ill. attending University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • Zakaria Melton of Charlotte, N.C. attending North Carolina Central University
  • Donnell Milton of Katy, TX attending Prairie View A&M University
  • Marisol Mora of Burkburnett, TX attending Midwestern State University
  • Khierston Nelson of Burlington, N.C. attending Savannah State University
  • Manyi Ngu of Jacksonville, Fla. attending University of North Florida
  • Alayah Osullivan of Brooklyn, N.Y. attending North Carolina A&T State University
  • Xavier Partee of Whitsett, N.C. attending North Carolina A&T State University
  • Umulkheir Sharif ali of San Diego, Calif. attending University of California San Diego
  • Jiya Sharma of Paramus, N.J. attending Seton Hall University
  • Joseph Thedford of Florissant, Mo. attending Jackson State University
  • Morghan Williams of Richmond, Va. attending North Carolina A&T State University

“The Bridging the Dream Scholarship for High School Seniors means a lot to me now that I am in college,” said scholarship recipient, Jahni Glover, who is currently a first-year student at North Carolina A&T University. “This scholarship has given me the opportunity to begin a new journey in life and to further achieve the goals I have set for myself.”

While scholarships can be a helpful resource in making college more accessible and affordable, many families are unaware about their availability and what it takes to qualify. Recent research from Sallie Mae and Ipsos found nearly half of families think scholarships are only offered for academic or athletic excellence leading them to bypass applying altogether. Scholarships, however, are available for just about any and every interest and free tools like Sallie Mae’s Scholarship Search -- home to more than 6 million scholarships collectively worth $30 billion – can help families research and apply.

In addition, throughout National Scholarship Month, Sallie Mae is raising awareness by offering students the chance to win one of five $1,000 prizes when they register for Scholarship Search. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. See official rules.

Meet this year’s Bridging the Dream Scholarship recipients and for more information on scholarships visit

Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: SLM) believes education and life-long learning, in all forms, help people achieve great things. As the leader in private student lending, we provide financing and know-how to support access to college and offer products and resources to help customers make new goals and experiences, beyond college, happen. Learn more at Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

Category: Community and Philanthropy

Caron Jackson

Source: Sallie Mae

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