Paying it Forward - 2009 Profiles

William Blake

Alumnus - Wright City, Missouri

William describes the majority of his life as looking from the bottom up. When William’s superiors at his workplace told him he needed a college degree to move up the management and pay ladder, he turned to University of Phoenix. He was drawn to the University’s focus on the development of the individual in a team environment and knew it aligned with his workplace culture.

He completed his Bachelor of Science in Business Management in November 2009 and is now recognized as a Subject Matter Expert in the aerospace industry in quality circles. He will be up for promotion again in June 2010 as a Level 5 Quality Specialist. He has experienced first hand the benefits of a college degree and wishes to help his friend Michelle add value to her resume and list of accomplishments.

Michelle Grippi

Recipient - St. Peters, Missouri

Michelle has had much the same viewpoint as William throughout her life. Constant hurdles and challenges have kept her from the bachelor’s degree she strives for, leaving her to look from the bottom up at what life could mean with the benefits of a college degree.

At the age of 17, Michelle had to work to support her herself while getting through her last years of high school. She was eventually hired by a company that offers tuition assistance but was laid off before she could take advantage of the benefits. She then had to be the primary caregiver to her ailing mother and put school on hold.

Michelle and her husband started a family of their own six years ago, and now Michelle finally has the time and resources to get back to school and back to her dreams. She is ready and willing, as she has always been, to complete her degree and start a new chapter in her life.

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