Scholarship Opportunities at KSU

KENNESAW, Ga. | Oct 31, 2019

Applications open now through February 2020

It’s one thing to help a daughter, son or other family member pay for college. It’s quite another to help a complete stranger. But that’s just what some 350 Kennesaw State donors have done.

At a recent scholarship luncheon hosted by Kennesaw State’s Office of University Development, donors had the opportunity to meet the students whose lives they have changed forever.

Office of University Development Scholarship Luncheon
Office of University Development Scholarship Luncheon

“I did not fully understand the need for, or the impact of, the scholarships until meeting the recipients in person,” said Kathy Walker of the American Opportunity Foundation. “These students all have compelling stories, grateful hearts, a desire to give back to their community and a palpable determination to succeed, not just at KSU, but in life as well.”

Marc M. Girardot, whose family established the Dr. Nadia Girardot & Dr. Jean-Marie Girardot Scholarship for undergraduate students majoring in the arts or sciences, added that his family enjoys attending the luncheon because it gives them a chance to meet and hear directly from the students about how their gift has made a difference.

Three students – Sheri Choisie, Sarah Fraser and Thadeus Frazier – share how their scholarships have positively impacted them.

Sheri Chiosie – Kalafut Scholarship

Sheri Chiosie
Sheri Chiosie
Earning a scholarship from the KSU Foundation is helping single mom Sheri Chiosie pay for college, but even more meaningful is the example it sets for her teenage daughter.

Chiosie, who is double-majoring in accounting and business management while working full time for an accounting firm, received the Alice Kalafut Endowed Scholarship. Her accomplishment inspired her daughter Bella, who now is making the honor roll and aspiring to attend college.

“This shows her that all the hard work I’ve been putting in made people believe in me, and they invested in my future,” Chiosie said. “I want to instill in my daughter that through hard work, perseverance, tenacity and believing in ourselves, we can accomplish anything.”

Chiosie, 40, enrolled at Kennesaw State at age 17, but left after a year because “life happened.” She returned to KSU last year to pursue her dual degrees toward becoming a certified public accountant.

“Coming back to Kennesaw State was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life,” Chiosie said. “It has changed everything for me.”

Sarah Fraser – Charles S. Wollmer Memorial Scholarship

Sarah Fraser
Sarah Fraser
Sarah Fraser wasn’t sure she would ever attend college. A native of St. Catharines, Ontario, near Canada’s Niagara Falls, the single mother of two children found herself in dire straits six years ago.

“In 2013, my family suffered a tragedy that left me on my own with two children,” said Fraser, who now lives in Kennesaw. “Suddenly, I became the sole provider for my family. What made it even worse was that I had no family living in this country, and I had put off my college education to raise my children.”

Fraser, who is now a senior biology major, had been working for little more than minimum wage and barely making ends meet.

“After two years working as a receptionist, I began to think about obtaining a college degree to better our situation,” said Fraser. “Some of my friends discouraged me, saying I would not be able to afford the basic necessities of life and go to college at the same time. This did concern me and I was scared, but I knew I had to do something.

“I saw earning a bachelor’s degree a lot like climbing Mount Everest,” she said. “There was a huge mountain between me and a college degree. I had no idea how I was going to make it all the way to the top, but I had the courage to start by putting one foot in front of the other.”

In 2015, she sat in a college classroom for the first time. Since attending KSU, she has been awarded with a National Science Foundation Scholarship and the Charles S. Wollmer Memorial Scholarship.

“With each scholarship, the difficult mountainous terrain was transformed,” said Fraser. “It seemed as though the tough and steep incline to the top was replaced by a manageable staircase.”

Fraser will graduate next spring and plans on attending graduate school at KSU.

“I look forward to one day becoming a college science lecturer and share my passion for science with others,” she said.

Thadeus Frazier – American Opportunities Foundation Scholarship

Thadeus Frazier
Thadeus Frazier
Thadeus Frazier is the first recipient of the American Opportunities Foundation Scholarship, which is provided by Kennesaw State Campus Awareness, Resource and Empowerment (CARE) Services.

Frazier bounced between homes during high school, sometimes sleeping on friends’ couches, and the financial aspect of attending college seemed impossible. With the help of KSU’s CARE, which provides support for students dealing with homelessness, he soon enrolled at the University for summer semester.

“I had a hard time making myself at home though,” Frazier said, adding that he never unpacked his bags that semester.

“It was really stressful to worry if college was going to last. It looked like no one lived in my room because all I had were two pieces of luggage,” he added.

In early September, Frazier, a first-year student majoring in sociology, learned that he had been awarded the scholarship. With that good news, he finally unpacked his bags.

“It was the most stress-free I’ve felt my entire life,” Frazier said. “I cannot say thank you enough for this opportunity. I can finally be a student.”

Scholarship applications for the 2020-2021 academic year are now open.

—Photography by David Caselli and Jason Getz

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