Muma College of Business Scholarship Luncheon

Muma College of Business Scholarship Luncheon


The nice thing about this luncheon is that for the past three or four years I have gotten a chance to meet and tell the stories of some absolutely wonderful, amazing students. The great thing is, you have about 200 of these wonderful stories in front of you today. Thank you for allowing me to, once again, be here. Thank you to all of our donors today. We are celebrating $475,000 in scholarships given to more than 200 students. Our promise to you is that you will see Muma students better than any other students you are going to hire. The person you are dreaming of becoming won’t exist if you keep your head down. Pick your head up. Start calculating. You may know who you are. You may know what you are capable of. Prove it. Prove it every day. Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Ashley Washington. I am excited and incredibly grateful to be here today. As a former student. And scholarship recipient. And the newest and youngest donors here today. The opportunities that I was given here at USF set me up – and opened the doors, opened so many doors – for me to develop and mature both personally and professionally. And that is why I am creating this scholarship. Donors, what you are doing is game changing. Every dollar you give changes the future of this college. You are creating the capacity for students to be able to work less outside the classroom and achieve more inside the classroom. You are creating the ability for them to be able to learn on a global scale. I am proud to be a part of this group of lifechangers today. Good afternoon. I am excited to be here today. I know that those of you who have been to these luncheons before know that this is a time where a young scholarship recipients stands up to share his story. Today, that’s me, Arben Kabashi. I’m twice as old as many of the students here. I’m a father with three children. I’ve had a good blue-collar career. But I stand here today a scholarship recipient just like any other student in this room. I hope my story will help everyone understand that regardless of age, the gifts of education and hope are among the most precious gifts in the world. I was one of six children. My mother, my older siblings and I worked on a farm while my father worked for a construction company to take care of our basic needs. We couldn’t afford school supplies. So my brother and sister helped me collect wild mushrooms that we sold to buy clothing and supplies. As the wars began, civilians were arrested, protestors were executed, and we lost our basic rights. Then the entire workforce was fired, including my father and we had no income. Then schools were shut down, that left 350,000 students in the streets, including me. My education was over. I was 14 years old. My life was forever changed on June 12, 1999 when NATO, led by American forces, pushed the Serbian oppressors our of Kosovo and liberated the country. Some of us, families like mine, whose home was forever lost, a chance to re-build our life in America. I was 33 when I got my GED and I immediatelly enrolled in community college. I earned an associate’s degree last year. Today, I stand before you as an American citizen and a student in the USF Muma College of Business working toward a bachelor’s degree in finance. And I am receiving the SunTrust and Arthur Ringness scholarship to help me do so. I cannot express how grateful I am. Thank you.>For all of our donors, what you are doing: you’re helping us put the pieces together to change the lives of our students, once and for all, like Arben’s life is being changed. Putting the pieces together to make the Muma College of Business the best in the world and the best in the globe. So from all of us, thank you for helping us change the lives of our students like Arben and so many others. Thank you so much.

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