Scholarship donors and recipients recently came together to share their stories and celebrate success at the 2016 Scholarship Luncheon. Already this year, Chesapeake awarded students more than $375, 000 in scholarships.
Lareese Cathey, a Chesapeake Honors Program student who lives in Grasonville, gave a moving speech about how educational opportunities at Chesapeake have changed her life.
“I’d made many bad decisions and I think I was just broken by the time I came to Chesapeake. There was a time when I couldn’t even imagine enrolling in college or getting up to speak to before an audience,” Ms. Cathey told the luncheon attendees. “Chesapeake College helped save my life. I’ve seen what’s possible for myself and my two children. The future looks bright.”
A campus leader and member of the TRIO program, Ms. Cathey found inspiration at Chesapeake to give back to the community. With donations and help from Queen Anne’s County Public Schools, she established a community youth center in Grasonville offering after-school and summer services to needy families.
At 33, Ms. Cathey said she’s learned that dreams should be pursued at any age.
“It’s never too late to achieve your dreams. Don’t give up; keeping working no matter what obstacles are in your way,” she told her fellow students.
For the donors, Ms. Cathey had another message. “For all of you to believe in us is just tremendous. Please keep your faith in us.”
Mike Meoli, owner of McDonald’s restaurants on the Eastern Shore, gave the donor’s perspective.
“We contributed to the Certified Nursing Assistant (TREES program) as part of our commitment to our community. But when I visited this beautiful campus, met the administrators and toured the Health Professions and Athletics Center, I was so impressed that I decided to do more. We established an endowment, and couldn’t be happier to help these deserving students.”
In thanking the donors, President Barbara Viniar said the positive effects of their gifts reach beyond the Chesapeake campus.
“You’ve heard today how Chesapeake not only improves students’ lives, but those of their families,” Dr. Viniar said.
For more information about scholarships at Chesapeake, please contact Vice President for Advancement Lucie Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.