Juana Hollingsworth, a senior at the University of Northern Iowa, applied for a scholarship. Then she waited – and waited. A few weeks later she went home for a visit and stood in the kitchen with her mother and sister. “Oh, I forgot. This came in the mail for you a couple weeks ago,” her mother said.
With tears of joy Hollingsworth opened the letter. It was the long awaited news about her scholarship – the prestigious Alderman Scholarship. She had been awarded the scholarship, but she has missed the acceptance deadline by two weeks.
“My mom was very concerned, and I was freaking out because I had wanted the scholarship for so long,” said Hollingsworth. “My mom looked at who signed the letter, found her on Facebook and wrote her to ask her to call as soon as possible. (I was told to be in) her office the next day, and that they would go ahead and sign the letter so I could get the scholarship.”
Hollingsworth hasn’t looked back. She earned the Alumni Memorial Scholarship and the Pauline Barret Scholarship in addition to the Alderman Scholarship. The scholarship support allowed her to see her student involvement finally pay off.
“I’ve been involved since I came here as a freshman,” Hollingsworth said. “I see that involvement did pay off. Now I’m actually able to stay involved or add more involvement to my schedule, have a passion for it and not lose focus.”
Hollingsworth is an active member of the Black Student Union and the Ethnic Student Promoters.
“Both of the organizations give me a whole new perspective on diversity and culture competence,” said Hollingsworth. “They taught me how to speak with people one-on-one and work with students even when you don’t agree on something or you have a different opinion.”
In addition to being involved with student organizations, Hollingsworth commits her free time to doing community service projects within the Cedar Valley.
“Doing that sets you apart from everyone else,” Hollingsworth said. “It gives you a wholesome perspective. It makes you a whole person. You meet new people, you gain new leadership skills; you do a lot things that you can’t do if you’re not involved. It is very important to me. “
Hollingsworth is a social work major at UNI and hopes to work with junior or middle school children.
“I feel like they experience the most problems,” said Hollingsworth. “Middle school and high school seem to be the years that determine your future, and I feel like there is not a lot of support in those areas.”
You can make a difference in the lives of UNI students, like Hollingsworth, today! Learn how by visiting uni-foundation.org.
Hollingsworth says, “Don’t think that you are not helping someone or that it goes unnoticed because it is definitely appreciated. Please continue to (support UNI students) because you are helping.”