UNI sophomore Jamison Whiting, a Minneapolis, Minn. native, expected a football scholarship to cover the costs of his education. Unfortunately, the former Washburn High School standout suffered an injury that caused him to lose multiple full scholarship offers to different schools.
“Once I went from a full ride to nothing, I thought, "What am I going to do now?” said Whiting, “I thought being a good athlete in high school was the only way to get to college. I’ve always wanted to go to college and believe that college is a way to get further in life.”
Even though Whiting did not have a scholarship, he decided to attend UNI and join the football team, playing in 11 games for the Panther football team as a true freshman in 2013. He started the first five games at cornerback and contributed 21 tackles, one sack and three pass breakups, but was still responsible for paying his full tuition.
The financial strain forced Whiting to consider leaving UNI. Whiting enjoyed the university and wanted to stay, but did not think it was financially feasible. That all changed with a visit to his Bender Hall mailbox. Whiting, who was not expecting anything, opened his mail to find a letter stating that he received the Alderman Scholarship.
“Before I received my scholarship, I was down and frustrated,” said Whiting. “Receiving the scholarship changed my whole mindset. I started to feel more connected to UNI and got more involved.”
The scholarship allowed Whiting to continue his academic and athletic career at UNI. Whiting is a Philosophy and Political Science major, and hopes to become a lawyer before pursuing a career in politics in an effort to help underprivileged inner-city kids.
Whiting’s desire to help the underprivileged started in his sophomore year of high school when he saw gun violence ruin the lives of two upperclassmen on his high school football team. He saw how quickly lives can change and wants to help kids avoid doing life-altering damage to their life.
“If you can stop things before they happen, you can help develop the potential that people have,” said Whiting. “They could be a lawyer, politician, NFL player, teacher or anything giving something back. I thought if I could be a politician or a lawyer, I could help people reach their potential.”
Whiting spent his summer as a lifeguard at Lost Island Waterpark and has played in all eight games this season for the Panther football team. If you want to help provide scholarship to students like Jamison, please contact a member of the UNI Foundation staff.