Parents Grateful for Alumni-Funded Scholarship Program
August 30, 2011 – As the potential for federal undergraduate financial aid cuts and decreased tax credits continues to loom, parents such as Karen Heath take comfort in the existence of the Georgetown Scholarship Program (GSP).
“I thought ‘there’s no way she’s going to be able to go here,’ but I didn’t say anything,” says Heath, a single mother whose daughter Sarah (C’14) became interested in Georgetown during high school. “My faith was pretty weak on it but [Sarah’s] was strong. This GSP, it’s been everything to us.”
Georgetown created GSP in 2004 after alumni showed interest in helping the university enroll and retain qualified students with financial needs.
The university’s 1789 Scholarship Imperative, which aims to raise $400 million for undergraduate scholarships and $100 million for graduate scholarships by 2016, currently funds the program.
Heath isn’t the only parent who has found GSP invaluable.
“We know that we do not have the money to cover this,” says Cyndy Kempczynski, mother of Ashley (C’12). “If not for the generosity of GSP, Ashley would not be at Georgetown.”
The gratitude isn’t just about financial help.
“There’s a vibe at Georgetown, I’ve never seen it at another place,” says Deb Stone, mother of Anna (C’15). “All students support the other students. It’s not just getting through four years of education, it’s becoming the best that you can and I know that Anna is going to be a totally different person [after] Georgetown.
Missy Foy (C’03), GSP program director, says parents are sometimes so grateful that they approach her with tears in their eyes, as one did during the 2011 GSP graduation party.
“She said, ‘Thank you so much. None of this Georgetown experience would have been possible without my daughter’s scholarship,’ ” Foy explains.
Parents also say Foy and the GSP office’s interaction with their children have provided a crucial support system, making Georgetown a home away from home.
More Like Family
“Missy has been instrumental in helping [my daughter] have somewhat of a seamless merge into the Georgetown lifestyle,” says Shelley Nadell, whose daughter Marissa Brogger (SFS’13) is the first female in her family to attend college. “As a new parent [of a college student] she had patience and understanding to deal with my questions and naivety about college.”
Nadell adds that she has offered to be a mentor and resource for parents of new GSP students.
“Whether you’re a parent or a student … you feel embraced by something that feels more like family and more like an intimate community than I would have expected at a college of this level,” she says.