Warwick native given $30K student loan forgiveness scholarship
— Angela Anthony couldn’t have been happier if she won the lottery —and in a way, she kind of did.
Last week, the Warwick native’s number was picked out of a fishbowl to receive a $30,000 loan forgiveness scholarship from Central Scholarship, a nonprofit that works to make college more affordable for low-income families in Maryland.
“I didn’t believe it. I just kept looking at my number over and over again and then I started crying,” said Anthony, 23. “And then I walked up to the stage — and I didn’t know anyone there other than my sister — and I’m just hugging all these strangers because
I felt like I couldn’t do anything other than hug people. I was just so thankful.”
Anthony, who graduated from Bohemia Manor High School in 2011, is currently pursuing a master’s degree in international development from Eastern University in Pennsylvania. Prior to entering the master’s program, she did a year at Cecil College and then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science from Eastern.
Anthony currently has about $60,000 in student loan debt, so the scholarship, which can only be applied to undergraduate loans, will cut her debt in half. Since her undergraduate days, Anthony has worked roughly 20 to 30 hours a week and while she expects she’ll continue to do that, the scholarship will give her more of a cush- ion to pay off the money, she said.
“All that money went straight toward my loans, I was just trying to manage them,” she said. “If I’m being honest, I’ll probably keep doing the same thing in hopes that I can pay off the rest of my loans sooner. So if anything it just gives me more hope for a future without loans.”
Helping students get relief from student loan debt is Central Scholarship’s main goal and every year the organization helps about 200 to 250 degree-seeking students and another 100 students seeking vocational certificates, said Angela Harrison, the organization’s senior program manager.
The $30,000 loan forgiveness scholarship was given for the first time last year to celebrate Central Scholarship’s 90th anniversary as well as respond to the student loan crisis, Harrison said. The scholarship is funded by Ira Wagner, a longtime donor, who provided enough money to fund the scholarship through the organization’s 100th anniversary, she added.
Last year, the scholarship was open to students who had graduated college and received an award in 2014 or students who had received an award in 2014 and were current graduate students, Harrison said. This year, the number of eligible students was expanded to include those who received awards in 2015 and 2014 and ultimately, Anthony was one of 33 applicants, she added.
But the $30,000 scholarship isn’t the first aid Anthony has received from Central Scholarship. She received a total of about $12,000 from the organization during her undergraduate studies. When she graduates with her master’s in December, Anthony hopes to work with the homeless to help them get housing and jobs or spend time abroad doing work to alleviate poverty.
Whatever she decides, Anthony said she’s very grateful for everything Central Scholarship has done for her and is inspired by the organization’s work.
“They’re doing so much good for people who are coming from lowincome families or that are stuck in this cycle of poverty,” she said. “So they’re doing the work that I’m interested in and to be benefited in that way and all that they’ve done for me, it just keeps fueling that passion for me to want to keep helping.”
Angela Anthony received a $30,000 student loan forgiveness scholarship from Central Scholarship last week.