War­wick na­tive given $30K stu­dent loan for­give­ness schol­ar­ship

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JES­SICA IANNETTA

jian­netta@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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

OWINGS MILLS

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.”

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF CEN­TRAL SCHOL­AR­SHIP

An­gela An­thony re­ceived a $30,000 stu­dent loan for­give­ness schol­ar­ship from Cen­tral Schol­ar­ship last week.

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