Paying it Forward - 2008 Profiles

Patria Lee

Alumna - Laurel, Maryland

When Patria Lee looks back on her education with University of Phoenix, she feels thankful. At the time, she was looking to enroll in a criminal justice program, and the University was the only one that offered the program online—a necessity for Patria since she was battling a disease called lupus that made it challenging for her to attend a traditional campus classroom setting. She completed her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and is now pursuing her master’s degree in public administration, which she knows will add value to her current role as a program analyst with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. However, while Patria was achieving her own academic and career goals, she was watching her younger sister, Kendra, struggle with the demands of single motherhood and working full- time to support her daughter. As any loving big sister, Patria wanted to find a way to help Kendra reach her academic goals. She researched the University’s Paying It Forward Scholarship and submitted Kendra’s name for the award. Patria knew how much the degree had helped her, and wanted her sister to achieve the same academic success to improve her quality of life and that of her daughter.

Kendra Lee


Recipient - Laurel, Maryland

Kendra Lee enjoys her work as a pharmacy technician at a local Howard County pharmacy. She always takes the extra time to help her patients, many of whom are elderly, by answering their questions and allaying their concerns. She just wishes that the hours the job demands could be different so she could spend more time with her nine-year-old daughter, Ariana, since Kendra, as a single mom, is the sole provider for her. Kendra knows that a college degree will help her advance in a career field where she could still help others, but have a steady work schedule so she could be there more for her daughter. She researched University of Phoenix and was in contact with an enrollment counselor when her sister, Patria, tried to slow her down in the process. Kendra wondered why, since Patria had always been so supportive in the past. Then she discovered the motive behind Patria’s advice. Patria had nominated Kendra for the University’s Paying It Forward Scholarship which would provide her education at no cost. Kendra is excited about the opportunity to go back to school to earn her degree in human services management, eventually transitioning into a social services position where she can continue to give back to others in a more meaningful way.

Alumni Nominator and Recipient Profiles

Learn how scholarships have empowered other students to achieve their educational goals. The more scholarships and grants you receive, the less you have to borrow to pay for school.


If you have additional questions regarding our scholarship opportunities, please contact