DAN GANNON/THE HOYA The Georgetown Scholarship Program has offices in Healy Hall, where it employs student staff and offer guidance for its scholars.
DAN GANNON/THE HOYA
The Georgetown Scholarship Program has offices in Healy Hall, where it employs student staff and offer guidance for its scholars.

Tuesday marked the 10th anniversary of the Georgetown Scholarship Program, which provides financial aid and a robust support system to 625 students from all 50 states and nine countries, particularly those who come from low-income backgrounds or are first generation college students.

According to GSP Program Director Missy Foy (COL ’03), GSP celebrated its 10th anniversary with a party for donors, university administrators and alumni mentors in October. Students and alumni of the program shared stories of their experiences with the hashtag #GSProud on the program’s anniversary Tuesday.

“Saxbys at 6 a.m. to do homework and realizing how fortunate I am to have the privilege of education, thanks to @GSPhoyas

#GSProud ‬#ClassatGU‬,” Anthony Do (NHS ’15) wrote in a tweet.

“Getting too emotional reading these #GSProud tweets. Feel so humbled to be in the presence of incredible peers,” Jimmy Ramirez (COL ’15) wrote in a tweet.

GSP scholar Bserat Ghebremicael (MSB ’17) from Las Vegas, Nev., said that she has found community and mentorship through the program.

“Last year, GSP was there for me when I struggled in homesickness, struggled in my pre-med classes and struggled financially,” Ghebremicael wrote in an email. “The struggle was so real. But it was comforting just being able to talk about these things and get them off my chest. That’s when I realized that GSP was my home away from home. That’s when I realized, that I was in a network of incredible people with incredible stories — people I can relate to and people I can mentor and get mentored by.”

When GSP Scholar Andrea Jaime (NHS ’17) died from bacterial meningitis in September, Ghebremicael said that GSP hosted a Sophomore Strong Summit to bring the group together.

“They brought all these GSPers together as a community in support of one another and re-energize each other, and it just goes to show how invested they are in the success of every individual, no matter their background and socioeconomic status,” Ghebremicael said. “They saw potential in us when we were at our low points and continue to see our potential at our high points, and that’s why I have succeeded at Georgetown thus far.”

GSP scholar Stephanie Estévez (COL ’16) from New York said that the program has helped her develop an individual identity.

“GSP has helped me in the journey toward becoming acclimated to an environment and culture so drastically different from my hometown of Harlem, offered endless emotional support and provided a community with which I’m able to closely identify,” Estévez wrote in an email. “Most importantly, they continue to remind me that being of a low socioeconomic status shouldn’t be something I intentionally try to conceal. It’s an integral aspect of my identity that has shaped my experiences, fostered my resilience and made me who I am today.”

GSP Scholar Isaiah Jones (COL ’16) from Virginia said that the community has been an invaluable source of many forms of support during his time at Georgetown, helping him find a job and intern in New York over the summer.

“GSP is my second family on campus because the staff gets to know every student individually and is there for us no matter what we need, whether it is advice, money, food, winter coats, a laptop or just someone to vent to about a terrible grade we got on a test,” Jones wrote. “GSP is my conversation starter, my social and professional network, my best friend but most importantly, my village.”

As GSP has supported students on campus over the past 10 years, GSP scholars have also contributed to campus life in a number of ways, Foy said.

“I think our students make Georgetown a better place, a more relevant place, because they come with so many diverse experiences,” Foy said. “They literally come from all over the country: rural, urban, suburban. … I think they each bring a pretty unique and diverse set of experiences, life experiences to our campus and then hopefully into the classrooms and their dorm rooms.”

According to Foy, the program has plans to grow in the future and find a larger office space to accommodate more students.

“We’re extremely grateful to be in Healy, to feel like right here at the center of the university,” Foy said. “I think the fact that we’re even here in Healy is a recognition that the university prioritizes us as a program and our students and values and hopefully our student’s contributions. But we are a little strangled for space, so we’re thinking down the road about how we can expand physically to match the growth of our program.”

Foy also said that she hopes to expand professional development services, offer more skill building classes and push for further donations to grow the program after its first 10 years.

“In the world of access and first-generation college attendance there’s been just a lot of bad news and negativity,” Foy said. “And this is a great opportunity to highlight that it isn’t all doom and gloom, that there is hope if schools do the right thing. And we have a model that that really seems to be working.”

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