Today’s #TommieGiveDay marks the third annual 24-hour, digital fundraiser for St. Thomas. Thousands of people have donated over the last two years, and this year’s matching gifts are focusing on supporting scholarships that increase financial access for St. Thomas students.

The Newsroom’s Sarah Pranadjaja hit campus to talk with students about what scholarship means to them and their St. Thomas education.

Nicholas Vance, senior: Receiving aid from so many donors reminds me that my education is not my own. I am part of a community that has chosen to invest a lot of money in me because they think I can do real good. Regardless of what field I work in or where I go there will be opportunities to help others. I am here to try and make the world a better place.

Katie Swift, junior: I wouldn’t be able to go here if I didn’t have scholarships. St. Thomas is my dream school. Scholarships have helped me be able to come here and thrive because if I didn’t receive a scholarship to come here, I maybe would have ended up somewhere else and not as happy. I wouldn’t have enjoyed my college experience as much. I think that scholarships really help people be happier in general when it comes to education.

Nick Hayes, junior: Having a scholarship is a great opportunity for kids to get that little bit of extra that makes it feasible for them to go here.

Destynee Wendt, senior:  I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am for receiving the Class of 1972 Endowed Scholarship. If not for your generosity, I would not have been able to attend school. … Without generous donors, I would not have been able to afford going to the college of my dreams. I am truly grateful.

Sarah Schuler, senior: I think it’s a reward for doing well in high school and keeping it together and getting it done. I’ve definitely had a lot more time to do more things since I didn’t have to work as much. … Having that additional merit-based scholarship was really great. I can join student government, Tommie ambassadors, get involved in Residence Life and many other events on campus that I would have missed out on if I had to work all the time.

Nick Przybilla, senior: A scholarship to me means a reward for doing well in school and I think also having an impact on the St. Thomas community. It’s opened up a lot of opportunities to get involved on campus, honestly. I don’t have to work another job. I can be involved on campus and make impacts here. It really means a lot, especially looking back over the past four years as a senior. That’s kind of the thing that I look forward to. It’s not just the classroom stuff it’s also the stuff you do outside of the classroom. That’s provided me with a lot.

Billy Lemire, junior: Scholarships mean not having to pay as much. Less financial burden for myself and my parents. It’s huge. It also allows me to do other things [while I’m here].

William Johnson, sophomore: Scholarship are an opportunity for your education. Especially if you’re limited in what you can do and what you can pay for. Scholarship is kind of like that extra opportunity to do what you want to do, and to learn and develop.

It’s given me the opportunity to pursue different clubs and stuff on campus I wouldn’t have been exposed to had I not come to St. Thomas. So, I think mostly it’s just given me that extra breathing room to not worry about what I can and can’t pay for. I can really just focus on what I want to do and learn about.

Jadelyn Schack, sophomore: There are so many opportunities I’ve had at St. Thomas I am so thankful for. This [J. Benz Millard Scholarship] has made college possible.

Briana Johnson, junior: It’s been nice not having to worry about so much of the financial burden. My classes and grades will set me up for the future.

Change a Tommie’s life and give to Tommie Give Day today!

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