Mark A. Mone Scholarship

Mark A. Mone Scholarship


My name is Sandra Alvarez. I am a communication
major and I’m also minoring in general business administration as well as
public relations. I grew up in Mexico City. I moved to the United States when I
was about eight years old and my younger sister was three. My mom, she has
been working as a housekeeper and my dad has been working as a landscaper all
his life and they just wanted for us to get a better future. I got a
full-tuition scholarship from the Morgridge Foundation. I’ve been able to
focus on the things that you can get out of college like research opportunities.
This past summer I conducted some research with Dr Erin Ruppel from
the Communications Department. We are looking at communication technologies
in older adult relationships. After graduation, I want to work in the community, work with
organizations to build together to create more initiatives that help the
educational sector, the educational system. What inspired me to start a scholarship at UWM –
my parents were not in a position where they could afford for me to go to
college. I worked at Taco Bell. I did work study as well at the post office on
campus and I went to school and that was really really hard. I really was
off on a wing and a prayer and it was day by day. I know that finances
should never be a road block to getting an education. When we went to school, it was
$100 a semester for tuition and it’s a lot more now and students can’t afford that.
So many times I meet these wonderful kids that are graduating from high school and want to go to college and they will tell
me, ‘I can’t afford it.’ This is why it’s really important that we can help
them get access to a good education. It can change the lives of students. UWM
does a terrific job educating primarily a lot of our local youth and
those youth stay here. So the degree to which people can make those gifts of
support to help further that education engine that UWM gives to this city is
critical. Just do it. Often I’m asked, ‘how did I get to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee?’ The desire
to go to college was always there – it was functionally, how are you going to do
that? And one of the things that got me from my desire for wanting to go to college
and actually getting there was the scholarships and availability of
scholarships to actually make ends meet and be able to get there. It turns a maybe into a yes and
changes someone’s whole perspective of what they can achieve. There’s no better
return on investment that you have then giving a young person an education who may
not have access to that – not only for that individual, but for the university, the local community and actually for the global community. I was attending UWM – started there in 1967. Started at Harley in 1969. I started as an
elevator operator. I knew there was more to life than just working in the factory.
I knew I could leverage what I was learning at UWM. I got into the engineering department,
from there I got into accounting, parts and accessories, and finance, became the
controller, and then the CFO of Harley Davidson, and eventually CEO. It’s all based on
the learning, training and critical thinking skills that I received from UWM. As
I look back at what education has done for me, it’s certainly a driving force of why I
support scholarships at UWM, as well as I encourage everybody else to support scholarships at UWM because I know personally what it can do for somebody. I think what I am most proud of is
becoming a role model – becoming a role model for my younger
siblings, not only my immediate family but also back in Mexico. And also I’m very
proud how my parents feel. Having them see all the sacrifices that they did and all their hard
work is paying off. I wouldn’t be here without the scholarships that I have
gotten. I want to say thank you. Thank you. Because with their support, I am able to achieve my dream of not only
going to school, but also working toward something that I can give back to my
community – to the community has given me so much. And I am going to be able to do
it because of that support from the scholarship.

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