Paying it Forward - 2009 Profiles

Laurie Cliff

Alumna - Norton, Kansas

When Laurie started researching four-year colleges, she had very strict criteria: online learning, working-adult students, and reputable degree programs. She wanted to advance to a management position at the non-profit organization where she worked and knew to do so she had to make a smart investment in her education.

Growing up in poverty, in an unstable home environment, Laurie wanted to give her five children the things she could only dream of as a child herself. Now with her BSBA, she is able to show her children the benefits of education and stability. She has a mid-level management position and wishes to pay forward the same opportunity to her brother.

Christopher Kelln

Recipient - Englewood, Colorado

From a very young age Christopher had to be the “grown-up” in the family. He is only 11 months older than his sister Laurie, but she looks up to him more than he knows. He took care of his siblings, feeding them, helping them with homework, and keeping them safe. Despite all of this responsibility, he started a four-year program but he was never able to finish because of his alcoholism. He has now been sober for five years and repaired his relationships with his wife and family. He volunteers in the community, is active in his church, and coaches volleyball. He has turned his life around. Christopher is a retail manager working on starting his own business and now his biggest desire is to complete his degree.

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Alumni Nominator and Recipient Profiles

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