Jasmine Pringle ’15 a communication studies major with a minor in sociology from Pomona, California, has benefited from: the CFA Council Scholarship that supports students based on talent and experience; the James E. and Mary Bahan Scholarship that supports students who are academically deserving and have financial need; and the Communication and Fine Arts Annual Scholarship that supports selected CFA undergraduate and graduate students in good academic standing. She shared this first-hand perspective of how being a scholarship recipient has affected her college experience.
You have no idea the impact you’ve made on my education and my family with generous gifts of the CFA Council Scholarship, the James E. and Mary Bahan Scholarship, and the CFA Annual Scholarship. I am truly blessed, and it is amazing to see that others care about my education and are willing to invest in it. The most humbling aspect of receiving this scholarship is that you all may or may not know my story.
For years now I can truly say I have worked to make every situation in life a learning and, most important, a growing experience. When I was 5 years old, my parents divorced. My mother worked three jobs in order to support my brother and me. She defined education as a gateway for pursuing our dreams, even through negative situations. Although she engrained these strong values in me, my ideology was challenged when my family experienced a financial downturn. My mother became unemployed and, as a result, we were homeless. Many people might have given up or been defeated by this misfortune, but, my mother was not shaken. Since my brother and I followed her steadfast leadership, it was not until recently that we realized how unfortunate our situation truly was.
Being “home” less could have caused me to become a negative statistic, instead it ignited a few things within me. First, this financial struggle gave me a drive for success, monetarily and educationally. I knew that even if my home, possessions, or car were taken away, my education and mental determination were things I could carry with me for the rest of my life. This is the reason that attending college has never been debated within my family. We knew after high school would come college, and then after college would come graduate school.
So, here I am, a junior at a prestigious private institute, invested heavily in campus activities: TLC (2011 participant, and 2014 summer staff), Underwings Praxis Service Club, E-board representative in the Resident Housing Association (RHA), Sursum Corda Service Organization member, and a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). I was able to actively engage in these organizations while maintaining a high enough GPA to be an academically active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., accepted as an Academic Community of Excellence scholar (ACE), on the Dean’s List, and a third-year member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS).
Having a displaced living situation also reinforced the notion that home is truly where my heart resides at that current moment. Home, to me, has been at school, in the dance room expressing myself, behind a canvas while painting, and even while doing community service at one of my favorite sites. In addition, this new mindset unfolded an adventurous side in me. I have become accustomed to being comfortable in uncomfortable circumstances: moving onto Loyola Marymount University’s campus, participating in De Colores mission trips to Tijuana, studying abroad in France (a place where I had never been, nor did I speak the language), and most recently, I was accepted into a summer study abroad/mission trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand, in May.
Last, being without a permanent house for years sparked my desire to give back to my community. I believe it is my calling to help others because of my firsthand experience with a social issue, and my positive outlook on life. The first time I performed service was in Panama during my senior year of high school with my dance team. We had the enlightening opportunity to teach choreography to 45 at-risk boys and girls at a local Panamanian Orphanage. This experience made it essential that I attend a university that shared my same passion for giving back. I chose LMU. That same summer I joined The Learning Community (TLC) freshmen bridge program, and served with the Tree People Organization, and on Skid Row. I knew once school began, a deeper commitment needed to be made. So, I applied and became a member of Underwings Praxis Service Club, and later a member of Sursum Corda Service Organization. Weekly I serve at the Guadeloupe Homeless Project, clean up local beaches, pack sack lunches at LMU and deliver them to the Santa Monica Homeless Shelter, as well as tutor at Sage Elementary School.
LMU has given me everything I could have ever imagined. It has fulfilled me educationally by granting me an incredible academic and professional network. Here, I do not feel like a number, and you all recognizing me for my efforts just reinforces my faith in humanity. I am a part of the College of Communication and Fine Arts currently as a communication studies major with a minor in sociology. After graduating I plan to pursue my M.B.A. in entertainment public relations, with an international emphasis.
My family was at a financial standstill once again, and so I have been taking out loans to help relieve the stress my tuition has put on my mom. Nevertheless, these scholarships will help determinately next semester.
Once again, thank you for noticing me. I will never forget what you have done; these scholarships are the reason I will accomplish my dream of graduating from LMU.