Optimal Announces 12 Spring Scholarship Winners for 2020

Each quarter Optimal selects twelve recipients for our needs-based scholarships. There are four categories students apply to, depending on where they are in their higher-education journeys: community college, undergraduate, graduate, and military. This quarter’s scholarship winners show resilience and excitement for their studies, and we are proud to announce them:

  • Community College Scholarship: Keirstyn Meadows of New River Community and Technical College, Jarret Buchanan of City Colleges of Chicago – Olive-Harvey College, Hayley Uecker of Sheridan College, Maribel Ramirez of Austin Community College, and Colby Teelin of Gulf Coast State College

  • Undergraduate Scholarship: Nelson Alfaro of the University of North Texas, Lilliana Rogers of Dixie State University, Madison Pedersen of Montana State University, and Ivan Jacobs of Barton College

  • Graduate Scholarship: Rodrick Williams of Medical University of South Carolina

  • Military Scholarship: Hannah Burgess of the University of Utah and Sarah Maara of Southern New Hampshire University

These scholarship recipients have a vision for how they would like to move forward with their education, and they have shown how difficulties with finances threaten to prevent them or slow them down from reaching their goals. These scholarships, then, help cover some of their bills and tuition expenses, giving these deserving students the ability to focus more on their education.

Some of these students are overcoming family tragedy, personal hardships, or situational difficulties (including job loss from COVID-19), and the Optimal team is grateful to be able to play a part in helping them move forward. “I am very honored,” Maribel Ramirez of Austin Community College said, “that the scholarship committee chose me for this scholarship and decided to help me in my journey toward becoming a radiation therapist . . . having help brings me so much relief. I am so thankful for the help you are providing me and will always remember that this scholarship is one of the biggest reasons for my future success.”

Optimal scholarships are awarded on a quarterly basis. Each scholarship application is considered by our scholarship board, and winners are chosen based on their answers to two main questions: How do you plan to use your degree in the next five years? And are there any special familial or personal reasons contributing to your financial needs? If you or someone you know may be a good fit for these scholarships, you can learn more about them and access the application on our scholarships page. The next scholarship deadline is September 30, 2020.