Paul Zienty

What a blessing it was to be awarded a scholarship from the Valenti School of Communication. At the time, I had one semester left until graduation when I received a $5,000 scholarship to be dispersed at $2,500 per semester. With only one semester left, I was initially told I was only entitled to the first half of the award. Naturally, I was a bit unhappy when I learned I would not be receiving the full amount, yet I still remained grateful. It was not until I checked my student account some time later to discover the school went ahead and awarded me the full amount anyway. My reaction was exactly what you would think — thrilling disbelief.

As a full-time student paying my own way through college, this act of generosity at its finest lifted a tremendous weight off my shoulders. Instead of the anxiety of how I would be able to pay my tuition, I was granted peace of mind. I no longer had to calculate how many shifts I had to pick up in order to make ends meet. No more worrying about if I had wait another semester to graduate. This scholarship not only gave me the opportunity to graduate on time, but also an even stronger motivation. When people believe in your future so much that they offer this kind of help, you do not take it for granted. I am excited for the future. I aim to continue striving for excellence and make The University of Houston proud.