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Augsburg Celebrates 7 Years of Scholastic Connections

sch_connectAugsburg College celebrated the 7th anniversary of the Scholastic Connections Scholarship program during a gala and dinner held on Sept. 10.  Scholastic Connections is a unique scholarship program, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. The program uses proceeds from a $500,000 endowment to pair students of color with alumni of color in mentoring relationships.

Scholastic Connections recipients receive $5,000 scholarships and are paired with mentors who are successful alumni of color. Each year five new scholarships are awarded. This year there are six returning scholars.

Renzo Amaya Torres, ’05, and his twin brother Robert, ‘05, served as emcees for the evening. Both are past recipients of the Scholastic Connections Scholarship. Renzo told the current recipients that they are “lucky” to be part of such a wonderful program and to make the most of the connection with their mentors.  Robert added that this program is not just about the scholarship money or being in a program, but about learning the answer to the questions, how can I be good at what I’m doing, and how can I give back to the community?

“What you really want to remember is to ask questions of your mentors and listen to their stories,” Robert said. “Every situation is a great learning experience.”

Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow told the audience there are three ways in which the program reflects the core values of Augsburg: it lives out Augsburg’s commitment to diversity; the program is about people; and Scholastic Connections is about the promise we make to our students, the promise that they will have a rich college experience.

“The Scholastic Connections Scholarship lifts up some of the highest values of this college,” Pribbenow said.

At the end of the evening, Cindy Peterson, Scholastic Connections director, made special presentations to Vivian Jenkins Nelsen, Herald Johnson and Denise Hackel for their years of dedication to the Scholastic Connections program.

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