Paying it Forward - 2009 Profiles

Shala Pelloni

Alumnus - Cranston, Rhode Island

When Shala spoke with her academic advisor for the first time she knew she would make it through her program successfully. Her advisor prepared her for her first day of class and shared the University’s expectations. Shala was determined to graduate with her bachelor’s degree even while juggling working full-time and being a single mother. She was able to work and apply her classroom experience to her workplace. It took her longer than she planned to complete her degree, but it all paid off when she was promoted at work after gaining the needed experience and knowledge from attending University of Phoenix. She faced numerous life obstacles but none of them were too powerful to keep her from her dream. Shala has always taken pride in sharing her story and journey with others in hopes that she can be an example and success story. She is proud to pay forward her education to her brother Anthony.

Anthony Pelloni

Recipient - Wyoming, Rhode Island

Anthony’s life-long dream was to become a police officer. He is always willing to give back to his community through volunteering at the local police department and firehouse. He completed his Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice with high honors. Anthony wasn’t financially able to start his bachelor’s degree so he joined the Air Force Reserves. He graduated from Air Force Boot Camp again with high honors and then completed a tour of duty in Iraq. When he returned home from Iraq he married his high school sweetheart and he signed over his GI Bill® educational funds to help his wife through college. He acted totally selflessly by putting his degree on the backburner to help his wife meet her goals. He knew an investment in his wife’s future was an investment in their lives together. Anthony will benefit from this scholarship because the only thing standing in his way is the funding to finish his degree.

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


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Alumni Nominator and Recipient Profiles

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