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Learning to stand on her own

Karina Mora opened the email and was sure there had been a mistake.

It was from the financial aid office, alerting her that she’d been awarded the Glasscock Scholarship. How? she thought. She hadn’t even applied for it.

The Glasscock Scholarship was a big deal, covering tuition, room and board and books.

Karina, an accounting major, was in disbelief. And after a bit of investigating, she confirmed that she had, indeed, received the scholarship.

Her application for other scholarships was on file and caught the eye of personnel in financial aid. Unbeknownst to her, she met all of the qualifications for the award.

For the Chicago native, that meant she was free.

Free to devote herself to school work, tackling some of the University’s toughest courses. Free to experience college without the ever-present concern of how to pay for it. Free to become the person she is today, now a junior.

“I’m definitely not the same person I was freshman year,” she says.

For one, she’s hundreds of miles away from her family back in Chicago, which has required her to summon the strength to stand on her own two feet. And she’s working her first job at CSU’s bookstore, juggling bills, living off campus at a nearby apartment complex and taking an ambitious 18 credit hours each semester to graduate early.

But while she’s away from family, it helps that she’s gained surrogate parents in alumni Lee and Larry Glasscock, who pledged $1 million to fund the scholarships for students at the Monte Ahuja College of Business.

They routinely check in with Karina and other Glasscock scholars, offering support and encouragement, highlighting the year with a special dinner.

“They actually believe in us,” Karina says.

“They see our potential, and they know we can do big things.”

That’s all the more reason she’s determined to succeed. In addition to her parents and family back in Chicago, the Glasscocks are another set of supporters that she doesn’t want to disappoint.

“I want to make sure I finish off strong and graduate and they’re going to be some the first people I thank for this.”

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