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2024 Scholarship Recipients

About the Renaissance Society Scholarship program

The Renaissance Society Scholarship program began in 1993 with two $500 awards under the leadership of the late Doug Fulton and the late Lou Weintraub. Over time, the amount grew to three $1,000 awards. In 2007, the Board of Directors increased the awards to three $1,500 scholarships. In 2011, they were scheduled to rise to four $2,000 scholarships. However, since Renaissance was celebrating its 25th anniversary, the board added another, for a total of five $2,000 scholarships.

For 2012, there were four scholarships of $2,000 each. That increased to five scholarships of $2,500 each, beginning in 2013. In 2015, scholarships grew to six of $3,000 each.

For 2018, the board approved a special scholarship award, in memory of Lou Weintraub. He passed away in December 2017, one month shy of his 104th birthday. With a $25,000 gift from the estate of Doug and Gini Fulton in 2019, the Board established a seventh scholarship in honor of Doug, who with Lou Weintraub founded the Renaissance Scholarship program.

Annually the Renaissance Society awards scholarships to deserving Sacramento State students. Since its inception in 1993 and through 2024, the Renaissance Society has given 128 students scholarships for a total of $290,000 in awards. The scholarship program is supported by contributions from Renaisssance members. Two of the seven scholarships have been endowed.

Originally, applicants were sought in fields related to gerontology, but that has been expanded to include other disciplines and graduate students have been added. In addition to Sac State requirements for scholarships, Renaissance requires a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 and an essay describing personal achievements, challenges, financial needs and, most importantly, how their field of study will be useful to Renaissance members.

Your 2024 Recipients

Here are the recipients’ bios:

Watch their videos here.

Jasmine Asfour

My name is Jasmine Asfour. I am a first-generation college student as well as a first-generation American. While I am eternally grateful to reach my goal of entering the Doctor of Physical Therapy program here at Sacramento State, I had to face unique challenges many of my peers may not have had to face. I grew up in the city of Stockton, which is infamously known for its high crime rates. My family hails from Palestine, which meant navigating the challenges of adjusting to life in America amidst a language barrier, all while striving to preserve our cultural heritage and ensure it remained vibrant and cherished, rather than fading into obscurity.

Coming of age in a household headed by a single parent, with limited financial means, the prospect of attending college seemed like an unattainable dream. Instead of considering higher education, the expectation was for me to follow the path of simply working to make ends meet. The exorbitant cost of college made it feel even more out of reach, particularly given our low-income status.

In the face of these adversities, I not only broke the cycle but emerged resilient, determined, and thankful for the opportunities that education has afforded me. I am eternally thankful to the Renaissance Society for enabling me to pursue my dreams and alleviating the financial burden associated with pursuing my doctorate in physical therapy.

Jackie Chang

My name is Jackie Chang, and I'm a Hmong American. I'm the youngest of eight siblings, born and raised in Sacramento. Coming from a low-income household, I’ve been determined from a young age to break the cycle and pursue higher education. My goal is not only to improve my circumstances but also to be able to provide financial support to those facing similar challenges in the future while inspiring others who are navigating difficult paths currently.

Fueled by my aspiration to become a neurosurgeon, I have become one of the few in my immediate family to attend college. My drive to assist others, particularly those facing barriers to accessing adequate care, stems from observing numerous individuals in my community, both within and beyond my circle. I've witnessed the challenges people encounter in a variety of things, such as in obtaining healthcare, whether it's due to language barriers, a lack of healthcare providers, or financial hardships. These difficulties are especially evident among older patients like my grandmother who despite having a big family who does their best to help, finds herself a part of this group facing challenges. This has led me to dedicate myself to serving all communities, with a focus on older adults, as they are a vulnerable population often misunderstood and grappling with individual challenges. I would like to learn more about and work with this group, especially with my emphasis on my study in Biomedical Sciences. I am eager to put myself in different experiences, both to learn from and contribute to the well-being of people, offer understanding, and bring change by motivating others to take charge.

Pryncess Deloney

My name is Pryncess Deloney. I'm currently a second-year student at Sacramento State, studying Health Science with a focus on making healthcare more accessible to everyone. Growing up in a low-income community, I've seen how hard it can be for people to get the healthcare they need. This has inspired me to work towards making healthcare easier for everyone to access.

My mother has been my guiding light and source of inspiration. Despite facing numerous obstacles, she worked tirelessly to provide me with the opportunities I have today, including the chance to pursue higher education. Her resilience and unwavering support have instilled in me the belief that dedication and perseverance can overcome any obstacle.

Outside of school, I enjoy playing video games and collecting vinyl records. Gaming is a great way for me to unwind and have fun with friends. I also love the nostalgia and unique sound of vinyl records. As I continue my educational journey, I'm eager to channel my passion for healthcare advocacy into tangible initiatives that empower underserved communities and promote accessible, quality healthcare for everyone.

Nargis Karamatova

My name is Nargis Karamatova. I am a first-generation immigrant from Uzbekistan. I came to America with my parents when I was around six years old. Ever since I can remember I have translated and helped my parents as much as I can. Leaving our lives behind and navigating a new world was very intimidating and still is. But we do our best every day.

My journey to obtain my degree started at Sierra College, where I later transferred to Sacramento State University. My major is Biomedical Sciences, and I am minoring in Chemistry.

I am very involved at Sacramento State University because I want to be connected to the school on a deeper level. I am a part of the SEE program, currently the president of the Student Alumni Association and in the Sacramento State Symphony Orchestra. These opportunities and programs have helped me on my journey of obtaining my degree and advocating for my success. I have my pharmacy technician license and recently completed a phlebotomy program. I anticipate being a certified phlebotomist and working in a hospital.

I am so grateful for the Renaissance Society for awarding me this scholarship. Receiving this scholarship is not only a financial relief but also a validation of my hard work and dedication to my studies. Your belief in my potential inspires me to continue striving for excellence in all my academic endeavors. Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and belief in my abilities. I am truly honored to be a recipient of the Renaissance Society Scholarship.

Javier Marquez

My name is Javier Marquez, and I’m currently a junior at Sacramento State University, majoring in Social Work. My academic journey began at Butte College, where I earned degrees in Social and Behavioral Sciences, as well as Psychology, despite facing significant challenges with addiction and mental health that nearly cost me my life.

At Sacramento State University, I remain focused in my educational pursuits, undeterred by the obstacles I’ve encountered throughout my life. Inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of “Amor Fati,” which means “love of fate,” I have learned to embrace life’s unpredictable events and changes. This philosophy has brought me peace, teaching me that while we cannot control what happens to us, we have the power to choose our responses.

Maintaining a GPA above 3.5, my passion for learning fuels my focus and drive. In my professional life, I serve as an Intensive Case Manager in Sacramento County and volunteer with the Compassion Prison Project. My ultimate aspiration is to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, specializing in therapy and advocating for mental health awareness within my cultural community.

Throughout this journey, the unwavering support of my daughter, parents, and family has been invaluable. Their encouragement has been a cornerstone of my resilience, and I am dedicated to continuing to make them

Missael Perez

My name is Missael Perez. I am a first-year Doctor of Physical Therapy student at Sac State. I was born in Los Angeles but was raised in Mexico. When I was 11 years old, my family migrated to San Diego where I spent the following 12 years. I went to San Diego State University to earn my undergraduate degree in Pre-Physical Therapy.

This is my first time going out of San Diego, which makes living in Sacramento more exciting. So far, I had the opportunity to speak with one of the members of the Renaissance Society during my patient interviewing assignment. She was very energetic and willing to help. This was very inspirational to me since it was my first time practicing interviewing a patient and the fact that she was so kind really boosted my desire to continue to pursue my passion for Physical Therapy.

Once I graduate, I would be honored to work in places that are under-served and predominated by the minority population. I want to encourage younger generations to pursue higher education, especially if I can lead them to the health department.

Pham Tong

My name is Pham Tong, and I am about to finish my first semester of the nursing program at Sacramento State University. As a first-generation college student and a father of a 5-year-old son, I have overcome significant challenges to pursue my passion for nursing. I hold an associate degree in general science from American River College, where I graduated as a straight A student, and have successfully transferred to Sacramento State’s Nursing program. My journey through college has been marked by financial difficulties and personal responsibilities, but I am proud to be resilient and continued to excel in my studies.

In addition to my academic achievements, I have also volunteered extensively in the Cardiovascular Wellness Program in Folsom Hall last semester when I was still a Health Science major. I have volunteered over 100 hours assisting older adults with exercise screening and blood pressure monitoring before, during and after doing exercise. This experience has not only allowed me to apply my knowledge in a practical setting but also prepared me to be a true nursing student this semester when I go to hospital for clinical assignments. I believe that nursing is not just a profession but a mission, and I am dedicated to use my education to make a positive impact in my community and beyond.

My commitment to learning and community service aligns with the values of Renaissance Society, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have this scholarship. I am eager to contribute my skills and knowledge to benefit mature adults and promote lifelong learning. I am confident that my background and experiences have prepared me well for a successful career in nursing, and I am excited about the opportunity to continue learning and growing in this field.

2024 scholarship recipients
The 2024 Scholarship Recipients. Top (from left) , Jasmine Asfour, Jackie Chang. Middle: Pryncess Deloney, Nargis Karamatova, Javier Marquez. Bottom: Missael Perez, Pham Tong.