LOGAN – Utah State University’s class of 2020 has created, as its senior gift, the “Aggies First” scholarship named for the school’s first female president — Noelle Cockett — and the first Ethiopian student body president Sami Ahmed.
Tony Ahlstrom of the Student Alumni Association said the idea for the scholarship came from Jonathan Young of the Alumni Association.
“He suggested we go a different route for a scholarship that would be able to be something that’s more meaningful,” Ahlstrom explained, “reaches more students and has a direct impact on more people than a physical gift would. That’s how the idea for a scholarship came to be.”
The goal is to raise $25,000 by encouraging students to donate $20.20 over the course of a year and then the donations will be matched by eight different USU colleges.
”When we’re raising the $12,500 from our side of things, we thought it would be easier to do that and we can reach out to the donor side of things through development offices and through different other university faculty connections that we’ve had who have been incredibly helpful and absolutely essential to this.
“We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without them. They’ve been reaching out to donors to the various colleges to match what we’re trying to do as students to make the scholarship a possibility.”
Ahmed said he hopes it might get students thinking about what they are the first of, especially those who are first-generation college students.
Ahlstrom and Young chose to name the scholarship after President Cockett and Ahmed because they are inspirations to all and encourage everyone to reach their dreams and goals.
They said the goal isn’t to just reward people who have done amazing things but also people who have made small successes that are important to them.