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Financial Assistance Turns Obstacles into Opportunities for Undergraduate Student

By Amanda Basler

When Sanoma Jean was five years old, her mother, a single parent, was seriously injured in a car accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. After six months in the hospital, her mother came home, and Sanoma assumed a great deal of responsibility at a very young age. It was then that Sanoma learned how to view obstacles as opportunities.

As a college-bound student, Sanoma knew that finances would be the critical factor in determining what kind of college education she received. Although she was offered scholarships by community colleges and public universities in California, where she grew up, Sanoma wanted to go to the University of Denver.

Inspired by a high school course in statistics, Sanoma knew that she wanted to study business, and DU’s top-rated Daniels School of Business was what attracted her to the university.

Without financial assistance, though, her dream of attending DU would never have become reality. Support from generous donors to ASCEND: The Campaign for the University of Denver, though, created new scholarships that made it possible for Sanoma to achieve her dream.

Today, Sanoma is a junior at the University of Denver. A recipient of the Gary & Leslie Howard Family Endowed Scholarship Fund and the Preston W. Rell Endowed Scholarship Fund, Sanoma is double-majoring in marketing and business analytics in the Daniels School of Business.

“Scholarship assistance is key to my becoming completely independent one day by receiving the best education out there,” said Sanoma. “I could never do it without the generous support of donors to the ASCEND Campaign.”

While scholarships cover part of her education costs, Sanoma works to pay for the rest. Most recently, she has started her own personal training business, turning her passion for fitness into a viable business.

“I’ve taken everything I’ve learned in my two years at DU and applied it to my business. It’s been amazing to see it work in real life.”

Sanoma, who plans to continue her education and earn an master’s in business analytics at Daniels, hopes one day that she can evaluate market research for a large fitness company and give back to the community that has supported her.

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