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Giving the Gift of Education: Ariana Cruz

Ariana-Cruz.jpgWhen you give to Lander University, you’re not just making another charitable contribution. You’re helping young people live their dreams.

A senior majoring in early childhood education, Ariana Cruz, of Greenwood, South Carolina, has learned the value of scholarships in her quest for a college education.

The first in her family to earn a degree from a four-year university, Cruz was excited to begin her education at Lander. However, financing her education wasn’t easy, and the path to her degree took several twists and turns. In fact, she took a year off to work two jobs and save money to continue her education.

“My family always wanted me to graduate and strive to be the best version of myself that I could possibly be,” said Cruz, who will be a third-grade teacher in Saluda when she graduates. “Despite the obstacles, they still pushed me to chase after my dreams.”

Cruz has been supported in pursuing her dream through scholarships named for Betty Rose Horne, G. Dearyl Lusk, Viola Hunt Norris and Jo Beth Owings Ouzts, as well as the Elizabeth K. McKelvey Education Scholarship.

“God placed it in my donors’ hearts to give back to Lander University, and their generosity helped me finish my degree,” Cruz said.

She credits these scholarships for giving her the security to persevere and succeed. “For that, I will be eternally grateful. I look back on every memory I have acquired here at Lander, and I will cherish and hold them close,” Cruz said. “Come December the 13th of 2023, I will walk with my head held high, as an alumna of Lander University.”

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