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University of Phoenix Teams Up with Larry Fitzgerald to Give Fifty-One Deserving Individuals a Fresh Start on Their Education, including nine Arizona Residents

By University of Phoenix

Focus to the Finish® scholarship will help those who started a degree, but have not been able to finish

PHOENIX, Jan. 29, 2015 — University of Phoenix, a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald understand the importance of starting what you finish. That’s why they have teamed up to award 51 individuals with full-tuition scholarships, including nine Arizona residents, through the Focus to the Finish® scholarship program.

University of Phoenix and Fitzgerald created this scholarship program for individuals who started their college education and, like him, didn’t finish. The 51 scholarship recipients will be announced by University of Phoenix at a ceremony on Jan. 29 leading up to the big game at University of Phoenix Stadium. The nine Arizona-based recipients will be honored in person at the ceremony.

“I know earning a degree isn’t easy, especially later in life when you have other obligations to your job and to your family,” said Fitzgerald. “That’s why I’m excited to be a part of this scholarship program that helps those who have realized, just like I did, the importance of finishing what you start by completing their college degree.”

“We are pleased to partner with Larry Fitzgerald to honor these very deserving individuals,” said Greg Cappelli, chief executive officer, Apollo Education Group, Inc. “Larry is a fantastic role model for all working adults who are struggling with the decision of returning to school to earn a degree because he recommitted to his education.”

“A college education has the power to transform lives by opening career opportunities that otherwise would not exist” said Timothy P. Slottow, president of University of Phoenix. “We decided to offer 51 full-tuition scholarships this year to honor those who wish to complete the education they started.”

Nine Arizona residents were among the scholarship recipients nationwide, including Katherine Jenkins of Mesa and Jeffrey Benedict of Phoenix. Both recipients have overcome significant health- related delays in their educational careers and are now ready to complete their degree.

Jenkins was forced to put her education on hold when she learned to live with a painful auto-immune disease. After learning to manage symptoms, Jenkins set her sights once again on completing her bachelor’s degree. Now with the full-tuition scholarship from University of Phoenix, Jenkins will work toward earning a bachelor’s degree in business with a certificate in hospitality management, which will help her progress in her current career as an assistant manager at a Phoenix-area resort.

“The opportunity to attend University of Phoenix will help me work toward my ultimate career goal to be a director of hospitality,” said Jenkins. “As I continue to learn, I am striving to be the best I can be for my team and my guests.”

Like Jenkins, Benedict has a new appreciation for life following a trying health situation. Less than sixth months ago, Benedict donated his kidney to his mother, who was diagnosed with kidney failure. The experience inspired him to improve his future and achieve his dream of completing his college education. Benedict will use his scholarship to earn a bachelor’s in information technology with a certificate in advanced mobile development

“I was inspired by my children, who have shown me the ample opportunity for growth within the IT sector,” Benedict said. “I believe people should always work to better themselves and education is a vital part of that process. I am so grateful for the opportunity provided to me by University of Phoenix.”

Additional Arizona Focus to the Finish scholarship recipients include:

  • Kristine Adams of Phoenix
  • Avril Anders of Mesa
  • Brenda Cazares of Tucson
  • Eun-Young Mun of Peoria
  • Timothy Tobey of Peoria
  • Kristi Wallace of Tempe
  • Oshae Young of Phoenix

The Focus to the Finish® scholarship was created to help those who have had to take time away from completing their degree by giving them the chance to get back into the classroom and earn either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Through its campus and online learning options, University of Phoenix provides working adults with the flexibility they need to continue their path toward a degree without putting their professional and personal lives on hold.

Eligible applicants for the Focus to the Finish scholarship must have started, but not graduated, with an undergraduate or master’s degree program at any accredited college or university and must have been out of attendance at any college or university, including University of Phoenix, since at least Aug. 12, 2013.

In 2014, working with local, state and national agencies, University of Phoenix awarded $12 million in full- and partial-tuition scholarships to help ease the financial barrier for adult learners seeking degrees. For information on other University of Phoenix scholarship opportunities, and for scholarship requirements, visit


University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit