Southern Oregon University’s chapter of NSCS finds the First in the Family Scholarship important because there are many students at our school that are affected by the price of college. We not only have a few members that could greatly benefit from the scholarship, but there are potential students at our school that could as well. This fundraising also benefits our chapter because we have only been active for two years, and those around us are learning who we are through our efforts.
Since our chapter is new, we appreciate all the publicity we receive, and one of the major ways we make our presence known is by tabling. We table almost every other week, and until the end of February our tabling involves the First in the Family Scholarship Fundraiser. Tabling is not the only way our chapter spreads the word about this inspiring scholarship:
Our target audience encompasses adults as well as students. Ever since fundraising began in December, I have challenged each member to contact his or her friends and family, because no one can refuse a genuine request from a loved one.
Specifically, we want people who understand what it felt like to be a first generation student; therefore, we have been focusing on asking former first generation students and their families. We request donations through personal messages, posts on Facebook, and one-on-one conversations. We made a Facebook page for the fundraiser itself, and we posted a picture and a video on our fundraising website. The media outlets are how we communicate in this society, so we are utilizing these resources immensely. The personal invitations jumped our fundraiser into gear, and we are far from finished.
But no matter how we ask for donations, our main goal is sincerity. We also strive for small spheres of influence, where the people involved truly care about the member asking and about the cause. We discovered that our friends and family, as well as faculty members and students on campus, all care about the hardships resulting from college prices. All of us feel empowered to ask those close to us because we all understand college struggles, and collectively we want to do whatever we can to make the pursuit of higher education easier for a student in need.
Muriel Sadleir Hart is a sophomore at Southern Oregon University double majoring in Music and International Studies and minoring in Spanish. Her hometown of Sitka, Alaska provided the positive community atmosphere that has supported her dreams of traveling the world with her music and spreading a message for social justice.