Why I donated a scholarship to ScholarMatch
By Randie Bencanann, LCSW
Like most ScholarMatch college-bound students, I was the first in my family to attend college. My father, the oldest of four children with a widowed mother, never finished high school. Instead, he left to support his family in their Brooklyn tenement. My mother, married to my father at 17, had three children by the age of 23, finished high school, but found herself being a mother instead of the college student she had hoped to become.
My path was fortunately very different but, in some ways, very similar to the ScholarMatch students. I was a good student, with parents who had no idea what the college process entailed and a complete absence of any high school college counseling. I applied to four schools relying on my own research and my boyfriend’s encouragement. The big difference was that my parents could afford to send me to college! Accumulating college debt is a big deterrent to college attendance and a difficult burden after graduation.
After retiring from a long career as a social worker, I decided to volunteer at ScholarMatch and eventually joined the Board of Directors. Six years later, after stepping down, I wanted to give back to the organization I had become so fond of and impressed by. Both my husband’s father and my father had passed away recently, and we decided that setting up a scholarship would be a way to honor their memory.
I have witnessed my two daughters, and many ScholarMatch students, navigate the very complicated and challenging journey to college to complete their higher education. I have also witnessed, over and over again, the crucial role that ScholarMatch has played in the success of its students. I’m a fervent believer in the value of college. It changed my life, my daughters’ lives, and the lives of many students that have come through ScholarMatch’s doors.
I want to encourage anyone who would like to contribute to a young person’s success to consider setting up a scholarship with ScholarMatch.
If Randie’s story inspired you to get involved, head over to our website to learn more. There are many ways to support our scholars—from becoming a monthly donor to sponsoring a student all the way to graduation—no donation is too big or small.