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Courtney Denton

Sophomore, Business Law, W.P. Carey School of Business

Hey everyone! I’m Courtney and I’m studying Business Law at the W.P. Carey School of Business. Thank you for checking out Campaign ASU 2020 and thinking about giving to students like me! Some background information about me — I am an example of the kind of students you are helping! My childhood was tumultuous; living with my parents’ friends, homeless shelters across Phoenix and watching drugs and alcohol take over my parents’ lives. When I was around 10 years old, I was a victim of domestic violence and my brother and I were put into foster care. For eight years, my brother and I lived in four homes. At age 18, I aged out of foster care and headed to college!

While college is not the case for many people in my situation, I was beyond blessed to have developed resilience and earned scholarships from people like you. While we cannot take all the evil from the world, we can offer a small light of opportunity that someone like me could turn into something beautiful.

This is my brother and I on Christmas Day painting a box that now sits in my room. I want to mention an underlying and sometimes unthought-of repercussion of scholarships: the impact on siblings, and anyone else that looks up to the college student. The whole time I was in foster care, my brother was there with me. This means that the odds can be against him just the same when it comes to college and adulthood success. Every day, I challenge myself and go the extra mile to be a role model and show him that college is attainable and life changing. Richard is now adopted, playing sports, and continues to be my best friend. I have also used my story to inspire my professors, people I meet randomly, and the former foster youth students in Bridging Success. I know first-hand the impacts from scholarships, and I am now impacting many people. Thank you for checking out Campaign ASU 2020 and donating to such an amazing, powerful, and life changing cause: the power of education!

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Welcome to my sophomore year journey! I am elated to share with you my change in major to Business Law at W.P. Carey. This semester, I am taking Math for Business Analysis 211, Law 210, Justice 303 and Accounting 231. My favorite is Justice 303 because it has opened my eyes to the broad and ever-changing meaning of justice. My goal for this semester is to broaden my network as well as maintain my GPA. Thank you for supporting my amazing journey!

Courtney Denton, joy made possible by you

Refuse to inherit dysfunction. Learn new ways of living instead of repeating what you lived through."

—Thema Davis

"Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

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Hello everyone! I wanted to share with you my greatest role model- random, I know! I think the best thing in the world is lifting others up and making their life better than what it was before they met you. I had a high school teacher go outside her scope of practice for me. When I went to her with my worries about college, she insisted on staying after school every day to apply for scholarships. She did mock interviews with me. She helped my file my FAFSA. She is my role model because she is generous, kind, and genuine. She saw the light in me and did everything in her power to help me succeed!

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How crazy is life? I can go from aging out of foster care to attending Arizona State University! I love going to class every day and challenging myself. I've already acquired an immeasurable amount of useful education. I'm truly blessed! Scholarships have shined a light on my future that was once hazy.

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Yet another successful trip to Mexico! This time, we had the opportunity to start a house from the beginning! What a rewarding feeling- using my position in life to help others. I am excited to announce my search for internships has begun! I have fallen in love with my accounting classes, so I have decided to pursue an internship in this field.

Courtney Denton Bridging Success Peer Mentorship

The week before the fall semester, I was blessed to hold a peer mentorship position with Bridging Success! This was the same program that prepared me for college before my freshman year. During the week long program, I answered everyone’s questions about my freshman year of college coming from foster care. My main answer was resilience—it was not easy creating a support network from scratch. Nonetheless, I am lucky I was able to hopefully inspire other former foster youth with this amazing opportunity.

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Almost everyone’s most recent life events are on Facebook—I am no different. When I announced my decision to attend Arizona State University, the feedback was simultaneously flattering and insulting. Why was attending a respected university such an extreme triumph in the eyes of the people in my life? I know now it’s because I come from a low-income, unorthodox, and crooked childhood. Many people were surprised to discover that one could rise from the hole and flourish as an adult. With the generous, giving hand of scholarships, however, the riches were given from a successful bank account to me. I am now rich. I am now rich in education, experiences, and self-worth. This year, I have thrown myself into many situations that were uncomfortable and different, and I am a new person because of it. I thrived in academics. I went out of the country for the first time. I handed food to hungry people who looked directly into my eyes and touched a concealed part of my heart, and softened it. My solidified, concrete belief that I would never be able to attend college was happily changed, all because of one simple and visionary idea: scholarships.

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This photo was taken in Agua Prieta, Mexico! One of the many experiences that come with joining the Armstrong Family Foundation Scholarship is the volunteer work! We headed to Mexico for three days of mixing concrete, eating burritos, and hosting a food bank for 1,000 families. I will never forget this experience because I got to hand needy people food that they needed. When I got back to the US, I had a hunger for more volunteer work, plus an endless feeling of gratefulness. This experience opened my mind to the benefits of others and yourself through volunteer work. I will be heading back in February 2017!

What a semester! I have completed another successful and challenging semester at ASU. I have learned a few things this semester: balance work and school with a planner, eat healthier for more energy, and take time to unwind. I am blessed to be in my position in life where my views can be extended beyond welfare, poverty, drug abuse, and moving home to home unwarned. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for practicing great sympathy and taking the time out of your busy day to consider helping a student like me.

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I am always outdoors, and this day was no exception! This time, I could give back to the earth. I volunteered with ASU’s School of Sustainability. Their goal is to reduce carbon dioxide with trees. More trees can also decrease the surface temperatures in Tempe! I am grateful to give back wherever I can, because I am given so much.

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The Nina Scholars doing our semesterly service project! We are giving back because we are given so much at Arizona State University. We packed up Christmas gifts for local foster kids. I remember being in these kids' shoes! Now I'm following my dreams at ASU with the help of scholarships.

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There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”

—John Holmes

This January, my fellow Armstrong Scholars and I were able to attend a professional event at JDA Software. We talked about interviewing, professionalism, resume building, and networking. After an amazing lunch, we talked to the professionals one on one about our resumes!

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We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

—Winston Churchill

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My journey at Arizona State University started strong! I was able to spotlight on my academics. I made the Dean's List! Also, I was able to focus on my transition into the college routine. I had the help of many scholarships to ease this transition. The Nina Mason Pulliam Scholarship and the Bridging Success Club worked together to host a week long event before the semester started. In the program, we learned about all the resources available to us. We also learned about the basics of note taking and how college is different than high school. Without these organizations, myself and many others would have felt unprepared for the school year. Thankfully, I was prepared, and I flourished!