ARUP’s Utah Promise Scholarship Is Changing Lives
For Diana Martinez, hardship became a motivator. Despite coming from a family that has wrestled with homelessness, domestic abuse, and drug addiction, she is attending college—the first in her family to do so.
Martinez is one of 650 University of Utah (U of U) freshmen who since 2014 have received an ARUP Utah Promise Scholarship, which has given them access to a college education that might otherwise have been out of reach financially.
“I don’t want anyone I love to ever have to go through what I did,” says Martinez, who is a prelaw student in the Honors College. She plans to break the chain of poverty that has always shackled her family.While admission to the U of U is in itself an accomplishment, paying for college is an equally significant challenge for those from vulnerable, socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. “Offering students the opportunity to reach their highest educational potential is invaluable,” says Mary Parker, associate vice president for enrollment management at the U of U.
“We moved into a shelter for abused women and children, and for the next three years, I wondered what direction my life would take.”
The scholarship awards students $2,000 annually ($1,000 per semester) and is renewable for up to four semesters. Students are eligible to apply if their family income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The U of U combines the money from Utah Promise with federal and state aid to develop an award package to support the student. The U of U’s Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid manages the scholarship.
“Education and helping others is a big part of what drives our culture here at ARUP Laboratories,” says CEO Sherrie Perkins, who has been with ARUP for more than 20 years. “It’s an absolute honor to help these students, and it’s both humbling and inspiring to see the challenges they’ve overcome.”
Utah Promise Scholarship recipient John Eggleston recalls living on the streets with his mother and siblings when he was 10 years old. “We moved into a shelter for abused women and children, and for the next three years, I wondered what direction my life would take,” says Eggleston, who is the first in his family to attend college.
He is majoring in international studies and minoring in business, aiming to work with global organizations in the field of economics. “If it wasn’t for these types of scholarships, I wouldn’t be here. It’s like a lifeline for me.”
“I don’t want anyone I love to ever have to go through what I did,” says Martinez, who is a prelaw student in the Honors College. She plans to break the chain of poverty that has always shackled her family.
“We are deeply grateful for ARUP’s support through the Utah Promise Scholarships to assist many talented students who otherwise would not be able to attend the U,” said Ruth V. Watkins, U of U president. “This is a terrific contribution to improving lives and strengthening our university and our community.”