The Chicana/o/x Studies Program at Eastern Washington University provides a home away from home for many students. The founders of the Chicana/o/x Studies Endowment—a group of alumni, faculty, staff and community members—say it was the social engagement and strong relationships they found within the program that made their experiences unforgettable. They established this scholarship fund to ensure future generations of Eastern students have the opportunity to earn a degree in that same environment.
Current EWU seniors Elsa Chávez and Gloria Bravo also cherish the home they’ve found in the Chicana/o/x Studies Program. Elsa is double majoring in political science and Spanish, but says she found the support she needed when she started taking classes for a Chicana/o/x Studies minor.
“As a first-generation student, it was really important to me that I find support,” Elsa says. “It can be difficult for anyone, especially people of color, to find the kind of support they need. There are definitely groups on campus who are actively working to provide support and safe spaces for us.”
Gloria is majoring in international affairs with a socio-economic concentration, while also minoring in Chicana/o/x Studies and Spanish. She says she couldn’t imagine tackling that kind of class load without a support system.
“The first time I entered the program’s office I had a deep sense of being at home,” Gloria says. “The people who make up Chicana/o/x Studies truly care for their students’ success. They want students to graduate, but more importantly, they want students to have the skills that will make them capable of succeeding both in the job market and life.”
The Chicana/o/x Studies Endowment will not only help strengthen the community so many students depend on, it will also provide the critical scholarship dollars students need to pay for tuition, books, housing and food during these challenging times.
“In this moment of COVID-19, the scholarships I have received have given me two things: financial security and safety,” says Gloria. “I have the blessing of being able to solely focus on my studies instead of figuring out how to make enough money to pay for my school. I also do not have to put myself at risk of exposure to the virus.”
Gloria and Elsa are both scholarship recipients. They acknowledge that they might not be where they are today without the help of generous donors.
“The scholarships I received have made coming to EWU possible, without them I probably would not be finishing up my last year right now,” Elsa says. “I have been blessed by this support and my hope is that more students can continue their academic goals here with scholarships like the ones that I have been graciously granted.”
Thanks to generous donations on GivingTuesday, the Chicana/o/x Studies Endowment reached full funding! The fund will soon begin awarding scholarships annually to help more students like Elsa and Gloria reach their dreams.
Our Goal on GivingTuesday:
Help students by finishing up scholarship endowments
GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of people and organizations, like EWU, to transform their communities and the world. Many EWU students are facing new financial challenges due to the pandemic. Scholarship support is critical at a time like this.
We identified several scholarship funds that are very close to being endowed. Once our donors help them reach endowment, more students will benefit from scholarship support—and more students will stay Eagle Strong!