Donate to our Pay It Forward Scholarship on Give Day!
The Karen W. Morse Institute for Leadership was established several years ago, and the decision was made to invest in the development of student leaders on campus. An academic minor was officially developed five years ago, and as we look back at the growth of the minor over that time, we have consistently had approximately 60 declared minors and 20-25 students graduating each year. Students often engage with the Institute in their first years of college and remain involved throughout their entire career at WWU. Thus, we have the honor and pleasure of witnessing our students' growth and development over time! However we also see how many of them struggle to keep up with all the demands placed upon them during their time in college.
The institute for Leadership adheres to the social change model of leadership development. Our goal is to support all students who wish to develop their leadership skills by focusing on the process of leadership. We value developing our students' knowledge about themselves and their role as citizens, their personal empowerment, ability to collaborate with others, and awareness of issues of equity and social justice through service to the community. Leadership development is a personal journey that results in personal benefit, but benefitting from the help of others obliges us to "pay it forward" and help others in return.
We can't ignore how many of our students need support in their own lives. While navigating their college experience many of our students care for ailing family members. Many of our students work full time jobs while managing a full course load just to pay rent and tuition. Many of our students are first generation students and others have their own significant health struggles. Many are under-represented students in terms of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, military service or veteran status. Many are balancing several of these challenges simultaneously while still trying to complete their college education.
There are many different scholarships to support students in their first years of college, but very few scholarships to support students in their last years-often when they need it most. It's unfortunately all too common for students to be just a few hundred dollars short of meeting their financial obligations in some months. A broken down car can result in the loss of a job and the inability to pay rent or tuition which can create a devastating downward spiral.
The Pay It Forward Scholarship is designed to provide emergency financial assistance to Leadership Studies minor s in their final two years of school. We ask that you honor a leader or mentor in your life (perhaps even one of our own Leadership Studies minors!) by "paying it forward" to a leader still in development. We will accept any amount you'd like to give, but ask you to consider donating $20.19 in honor of one of our 2019 graduates-we will let them know of your generous gift honoring their leadership. Please feel free to include a statement of encouragement to your honoree or a reason why you'd like to honor them and to let them know how proud you are of them!
Feel free to share our give day page with family, friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested in making this world a better place! Please check with your employer to see if they have a donation matching program! Help us invest in the future by investing in the needs of our students today!