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Scholarships help make students’ academic dreams come true

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Power of a Scholarship Infographic


classical guitarist. The son of Vietnam War refugees. A first-generation college student. A grandmother.

The lives of Sac State scholarship recipients are as varied and distinctive as our University’s generous donors. But a common thread is woven between those who provide for a scholarship and those who need it most. In many cases, the value of a scholarship is not only monetary, it is a step toward fulfilling a dream. One that for some students, has existed for generations.

Such is the case for Sac State student Ivan Tiet, a senior ethnic studies major who plans to become a public school teacher.

“My family were refugees of the Vietnam War and they never had the opportunity to go to college,” Tiet says.

Tiet is an active member of Sac State’s Full Circle Project which aims to improve retention and graduation rates of Asian American and Pacific Islander students. He’s also vice president of the Wayne Maeda Asian American Archives Club.

“In addition to helping pay for books, tuition and teaching credential exams, one of the greatest opportunities I’ve received through my scholarships is to present my club’s work at the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Service Learning in Taiwan,” Tiet says.

Andrea Arango, a communication studies major, echoes the importance of a single scholarship.

“I am the first of my family to go to a four-year university,” says Arango, who received the Ryan Huhn Memorial Scholarship and plans to work in a college student affairs office as an advisor. “When I told my parents that I was ready to go to Sac State, they couldn’t believe it. They said that this is a really big deal for all of us.”

Scholarships, in any amount, are a big deal. Most students work at least part-time and feel the pressure to support themselves, and in some cases, their families.

Public history major Lynette Williams feels the pinch. She is raising two grandchildren while pursuing her passion of genealogy research.

“My aspirations are to continue working at the Elk Grove Family History Center as a volunteer librarian where I help others find their past and medical history,” says Williams, who received a scholarship from the Black Alumni Chapter. “Giving presentations helped motivate me that I need my degree so people understand I know what I am talking about. I am very truly honored that I was chosen for a scholarship.”

The decision to establish, contribute to or endow a scholarship helps support the University’s best and brightest students. The extra funding allows students to worry less about shouldering the cost of education and focus more on their studies and on their future.

Ivan Parker is busy making plans for his degree in guitar performance.

“My scholarship from the Renaissance Society enabled me to work fewer hours and spend more time rehearsing for performances,” says Parker. He now hopes to take his love of music to the classroom as a university professor.

To hear the soothing sounds of Parker’s music as well as the stories of our students in their own words, visit the Sac State Magazine channel on

Andrea Arango, Communication Studies Major

Andrea Arango, Communication Studies Major

Received: Ryan Huhn Memorial Scholarship
Goal: To become a student advisor as a way to pay forward the help she received during college

Lynette Williams, Public History Major

Lynette Williams, Public History Major

Received: Black Alumni Chapter Scholarship
Goal: To use genealogy research to help others answer questions about their family histories

Ivan Parker, Music Major

Ivan Parker, Music Major

Received: Renaissance Society Scholarship
Goal: To share his love of music with the future generations of musicians  

Ivan Tiet, Ethnic Studies Major

Ivan Tiet, Ethnic Studies Major

Received: George Royal, Nancy Pierce Owens, and Asian and Pacific Islander American scholarships
Goal: To become a public school teacher

For information about scholarships at Sac State and how to help students stay on the path to graduation, contact Jackie Morris-Henderson, stewardship coordinator, at (916) 278-6931 or

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