Optimal Announces Winter Scholarship Winners for 2021

At Optimal, we are dedicated to helping college students achieve their educational and professional goals, which includes supporting students in need with scholarships to help cover the cost of their education. That’s why we’re excited to announce the five winners of our quarterly scholarship awards! We’re thrilled to kick off the new year by helping these hard-working individuals cover the cost of tuition, books, and other expenses. Our winners are:

  • Graduate Scholarship winner Shannon Fry, earning a master’s degree as a family health nurse at Morningside College
  • Military Scholarship winner DeLon Henderson, Jr., working toward a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Georgia Southern University
  • Online Degree Scholarship winner Rachel Maddox, earning her online bachelor’s degree in business through Southern New Hampshire University
  • Undergraduate Scholarship winner Trinity Serna, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Dixie State University
  • Community College Scholarship winner Cory Campbell, completing his associate degree in public policy at Lone Star College

All five of this quarter’s highly motivated students have seen their share of hardship, setbacks, and obstacles throughout their lives. Several have come from families that were unable to support them financially, and three of them are now parents themselves, working to support their own children while earning college degrees. Two of them are the first in their families to pursue a college education. Yet, in every case, the challenges they’ve faced have inspired them to create better lives, not only for themselves but for their families and their communities. They all see education as the first step on a path toward a brighter future and have set career goals that focus on improving the world, whether it’s through engineering, healthcare, business, or public service.

Shannon Fry, our Graduate Scholarship winner, probably expressed the students’ collective dream best when she wrote about her career goals as a nurse practitioner serving a rural, underserved population: “I will make an impact on the children who believe they are ‘stuck’ in a cycle of poverty and show them the importance of dreaming big and making goals. I am living proof, no matter where you come from and where you have been, the future is up to you... I want to inspire, empower, and motivate children. These children are our future, and they need to know that they can achieve amazing things.”

We are honored to be able to assist these dedicated and ambitious scholarship winners, and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish in the years ahead.

If you share our award winners’ dream of earning a college degree but find the cost of tuition a barrier to pursuing your education, please consider applying for our next round of scholarships. There are opportunities for students pursuing online and on-campus degrees at community colleges and four-year universities. For more information, an archive of past winners, and the application itself, you can visit our scholarships page.