Emerald in the Rough scholarship supports students
TNE Editor
/ Categories: Feature, Campus

Emerald in the Rough scholarship supports students

Published 10/11/18

Caleb Eutsler

TNE Writer

Since 2014, NSU’s Emerald Ball has served as a fundraiser for student scholarships. It invites alumni back to campus to participate a dinner, auction and concert. So far, the Emerald Ball has raised over $128,000. This year, the foundation introduced a new scholarship, the Emerald in the Rough. The goal with this scholarship is to help students who go through major hardships during their time of study.

The Emerald in the Rough scholarship is funded by the Emerald Ball and donations to the NSU Foundation general scholarship endowment. To qualify for the scholarship, students must be enrolled in at least 12 hours, have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and submit a two-paged essay explaining the students recent life challenges. After its release, over 19 students applied for the scholarship.

“With help from Jessica Langston in the scholarship office, we were able to get the application out quickly,” said Peggy Glenn, foundation development director . “A committee of six people from various administrative offices on campus reviewed the applications in one day, and the top three scorers were invited for videotaped interviews.  During the interviews, they were given a letter that notified them that they were receiving the Emerald in the Rough Scholarship, which is an award of up to $2,500 for this academic year.”

Glenn said she was compelled by the stories of hardship that NSU students were facing. She hopes that the this scholarship can make a difference in these students lives.

Students across campus face various hardships ever day. The Emerald in the Rough scholarship recognizes its ability to help these students by providing financial support. The goal is that this scholarship eases the pressure off students and encourages them to keep pursuing their education.

I applied because financially I have been struggling my whole life, so I reached for an opportunity for assistance,” said Jessie Poole, Tahlequah sophomore and awarded applicant. “The scholarship is the only reason I was able to make it through this semester financially. My life has been a series of rough patches and I only spoke about the rough patches recently during the video interview. I just feel very blessed to have received this scholarship.”

After the committee selected the awarded students, they told the students the last part of the application process was a recorded, interview-style video. During the video, students described their experiences and then were handed an acceptance letter and asked to read it aloud. Shocked by their own words, students began to cry from the realization that they had received the scholarship.

“When we set up the cameras I was kind of nervous,” said Connor Schapp, Ft. Gibson junior. “But once we saw the reaction of them receiving the scholarship, it was so relaxing. I heard stories of things that I could never imagine going through. These applicants are strong and it is humbling seeing them strive so hard to get through school, despite what happen to them.”

After the video interviews were completed, a compilation of the clips were combined and presented at the Emerald Ball to allow alumni and faculty to see the change they had invested in. Attendees felt honored to give donations and support to the NSU community and be a part of something bigger than themselves.

“Having reviewed each of the Emerald in the Rough applications, I was reminded yet again of the tough situations so many of our students deal with, above and beyond the rigors of the classroom,” said Glenn. “These students know that the best way to overcome these circumstances is to get a degree and fulfill their destinies as engaged community members. I'm convinced that they will help someone else get their degree, as an ongoing tribute to the Emerald in the Rough Scholarship that helped them.”

The Emerald in the Rough scholarship awards applicants each fall semester. Students can look for the announcement of the scholarship shortly after classes begin each August.

“We plan to continue advertising the Emerald in the Rough Scholarship early in the fall semester, awarding up to three scholarships each year,” said Glenn. 

For more information on the application details and how applicants can apply, visit the foundation’s scholarship website at https://scholarships.nsuok.edu/Foundation.aspx or email Jessica Langston, scholarships coordinator, at burkeje@nsuok.edu.

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