Paying it Forward - 2008 Profiles

DeeAnn Smith

Alumna - Colorado Springs, Colorado

DeeAnn Smith was ready for a change after 15 years in a stagnant position in the non-profit sector in California. Moving to the Colorado Springs area to get a fresh start, DeeAnn was enrolled with the University of Phoenix within a year. Enjoying the University’s flexible schedules and learning team camaraderie, she went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in business management. Applying her previous industry experience and business practices learned from University of Phoenix, DeeAnn is proudly in an event management position for a telecommunications company. After embracing the value of the knowledge and skills gained at University of Phoenix firsthand, DeeAnn is proud to pay forward the opportunity to a deserving co-worker.

Benjamin Lee Barrett


Recipient - Colorado Springs, Colorado

Benjamin Barrett was raised knowing that he would have to work hard for the opportunity to earn a college degree. Joining the Air Force, he looked forward to a military career, followed by a college education, thanks to the Montgomery GI Bill®. When Benjamin was abruptly forced to resign from the military due to a medical condition, many of his life dreams including a college education were resigned as well. Facing these unforeseen obstacles, Benjamin now showcases his determination, intelligence and resourcefulness with a telecommunications firm. His colleagues are the first to say that Benjamin deserves this tremendous opportunity to take his life and career to the next level. Through this scholarship, Benjamin will not only fulfill his dream of getting a bachelor’s degree in IT/security systems, but plans to serve his country with the Department of Defense as a civilian.

GI Bill is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

Alumni Nominator and Recipient Profiles

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