Optimal Announces Fall 2021 Scholarship Winners

Providing college degree information and alumni data is just one way we at Optimal help college students determine the best path for reaching their education and career goals. We also believe in helping students meet those goals with financial assistance through our quarterly scholarship program. Today, we're pleased to announce the three winners of the Fall 2020 scholarship awards:

  • Online Degree Scholarship winner: Cleo Lepolo-Gaines, earning an online bachelor's degree in sound design through Academy of Art University.
  • Undergraduate Scholarship winner: Xavier Senteno, completing a bachelor's degree in sociology from California State University Sacramento.
  • Community College Scholarship winner: Sharonda Smith, pursuing an associate degree in business administration from Texarkana College.

All three of this quarter's winners are passionate about their career paths, and their enthusiasm for their chosen careers is undeniable. Cleo is studying sound design so he can be part of the "brighter and louder celebration of people" that he sees in the future. Sharonda has returned to school at the age of 50 to earn an associate's degree in business before moving on to a bachelor's degree in teaching. Xavier is studying sociology to improve his skills in his current profession but down the road, he plans to help people with limited access to resources by returning to school to become a lawyer. Each has faced obstacles in realizing these dreams, yet all have expressed an unstoppable sense of determination and perseverance. As Sharonda wrote, "I will not stop until I reach my goal!"

We're confident that these three gifted, motivated, and deserving award winners will achieve great things. We here at Optimal are thankful for the opportunity to help them move forward on their journeys.

If your goal is to earn a college degree but you're finding it difficult to cover the cost of tuition and other expenses, please consider applying for our next round of awards. Scholarships are available to students seeking online, hybrid, or on-campus degrees at community colleges or four-year universities. To obtain more information, access the application, and view a list of past winners, visit our Optimal scholarship page.