Scholership Spotlight Header Sarah SCHOLARSHIP
SPOTLIGHTS
SCHOLARSHIP SPOTLIGHTS

Overcoming Barriers
with the Cougar Emergency Fund

“I had just started seeing specialists and getting tests done when the pandemic happened. After my mom received her lay-off notice, I knew I had one month until the insurance would expire.”

Sara Oubeid

“Helping Students in Difficult Times”

“Due to the University’s assistance, I was able to obtain my degree and land a job post-graduation. My time at UH was extraordinary. I was able to gain a huge network of friends and be a part of something pretty amazing. I have never felt more a part of something than when I went to UH and became a part of that community.”

“Getting Immersed: the “UH” Way”

“Now that I live on campus, I am able to study more and commute less. I am ‘in the zone’ when I am on campus and inspired by other students who are just as focused. While I am here and away from distractions, I am more inclined to study and, ultimately, excel.”

PREVIOUS SPOTLIGHTS

Kim Saotonglang UH Scholarship Spotlight

“I knew that I would have to work while attending school, and the stress of balancing the heavy demands of my studies worried me greatly. The Ogg Scholarship allows me to concentrate on my schoolwork, goals and future. I can see the quality of my work improve as my financial stress decreases, and for that, I am most grateful.”

Eric Vasquez '22

“There are so many people here doing so much for us students! It takes everyone to make this happen. You matter. Even the most insignificant thing you do for this university makes a big difference to a students’ life like mine.  I have immense gratitude for you.”

Why He Chose UH: While Eric would have no doubt been a star student-athlete at a local university close to his home in the Rio Grande Valley, he chose UH to get the experience of a big university where he would be academically and socially challenged. He wanted his limits to be tested, and he knew UH was the place for that.

He was able to attend UH solely because of his scholarship awards and said finding out he could attend UH is the highlight of his life to date. When he learned he was being awarded the Claire and Jeff Granberry Scholarship for On-Campus Housing, his first reaction was, “Now I can go!”

Scholarships:

Valley Alliance of Mentors for Opportunities and Scholarships (VAMOS)
Urban Experience Program Scholarship
Claire and Jeff Granberry Scholarship for On-Campus Housing
Eric is thriving academically and is taking 18 credit hours this semester.

Because of his strong interpersonal skills, he decided to pursue business and is finding it to be a good fit. He plans to start his own business in the future.

Living away from home was hard at first. He was used to constant attention from family members — especially his two younger brothers — and members of the close-knit Palmview community.

When he moved on campus, it was a new experience because he didn’t know anyone and had not previously been in a position of having to “make friends.” He decided to be welcoming to all and interact with each individual he encountered as if they were potential best friends. This has been a successful strategy, as he has the opportunity to greet numerous people as he passes through the Student Center lobby each day!

Eric asked about the recent announcement related to the University of Houston going “Beyond the Billion” in its first comprehensive fundraising campaign in 25 years. He thought about it for a minute, then asked to share his thoughts: “There are so many people here doing so much for students! It is unbelievable! I feel so lucky to be here to focus on learning and on my future and all around me people are keeping the campus clean, cooking for us, planning classes, managing the finances and keeping us safe. It takes everyone to make this happen. You matter. Even the most insignificant thing you do for this University makes a big difference in a student’s life. I have immense gratitude for you.”

Hyo Hwang '19

“Funding college was a difficult endeavor for the Hwang family and Hyo emphasized that the scholarship support was a huge boost with even $1,000 making a difference in his being able to continue in school and to pursue his dream of serving as an officer in the US Army.”

Chose UH due to the ROTC program and convenient commute

Multiple ROTC Scholarships during his four years at UH:

Major Charles P. Shearn III Memorial Endowed Scholarship
La Copa Shasta Scholars ROTC Scholarship
Benjamin Scott Jones ROTC Scholarship
University of Houston ROTC Scholarship
Cadet Hwang’s weekdays start at 4:45 am so he can get to campus on time for Physical Training and Tactical Training labs prior to his academic classes. He enlisted in the Army National Guard as part of the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) in high school and then joined the UH ROTC program where he found it allowed him to make friends and connect to the campus and to the City through activities such as Color Guard. He appreciates the diversity at UH and the opportunity his campus friendships gave him to have a deep understanding of how different communities live.

Hyo is a first generation American and will be the first in his family to complete college. When he joined the Army, he was initially influenced by his love for video games and military history around the world. But as he attended boot camp and was away from home for the first time, he began to realize the magnitude of the sacrifices his parents made to raise their children in America and his mindset shifted to being an officer in the Army in order to be a better son and to give his parents a concrete achievement to be proud of.

He will graduate in May with a B.S. in Political Science and be commissioned shortly after. He is looking forward to his parents being able to pin his bars on his shoulders. “There will be tears!”

Time at Fort Knox will follow his commissioning, then Hyo will attend his Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) as an Adjutant General Lieutenant at Fort Jackson.

Hyo’s favorite course at UH was a Political Science class, “International Organizations,” taught by Ozlem Sisman where he learned that the world is far more complex than many believe it to be and sometimes simple solutions are not the answer.

Funding college was a difficult endeavor for the Hwang family and Hyo emphasized that the scholarship support was a huge boost with even $1,000 making a difference in his being able to continue in school and to pursue his dream of serving as an officer in the US Army.

“Receiving this scholarship completely wiped out my life’s trajectory and gave me a new one. I would never had done as much as I have in my undergraduate years without this scholarship — or the University that exposed me to so many opportunities.”

  • Name: Hannah Ajrami
  • Hometown: Third generation from Victoria, Texas
  • Classification/Major/Goal: Hannah is a junior, majoring in accounting, who wants to use her strengths, particularly in finance, to pursue a career and make a difference in the world; she is interviewing for a corporate responsibility internship with one of the Big Four firms next summer.
  • Chose UH: Hannah already loved Houston, but fell even more deeply in love with the UH campus while touring. Her tour guide was “awesome.” She told her about available scholarships and encouraged her to apply for the UH Tier One Scholarship.
  • UH Tier One Endowed Scholarship: UH Tier One Scholarships are nationally competitive, academic recruiting scholarships that provide tuition and fees, two years of on- campus housing and stipends for undergraduate research and study abroad. UH Tier One Scholarships have been endowed by generous alumni, community members, corporations and foundations. Hannah’s was funded by Maria Haggerty (’84).

Hannah saw herself as a regular kid and was in awe of the other students who were interviewing for the UH Tier One Scholarship. She enjoyed the interview process, but she didn’t expect to be offered the prestigious scholarship along with the other students — who have since become her closest friends.

Hannah said, “Receiving this scholarship completely wiped out my life’s trajectory and gave me a new one. I would never had done as much as I have in my undergraduate years without this scholarship — or the University that exposed me to so many opportunities.”

Hannah also said her life’s trajectory was changed by the on-campus culture of service. “UH is so service oriented. It is like a past time. Every club I am in has a service component. I wasn’t expecting that. There is not a sense of peer pressure — we all want to do service. We are connected to the Houston community through service. It was no surprise to me that after Harvey there were lines around the block to volunteer to help.”

“Everyone is so accessible and friendly, from President Renu Khator all the way on down the ladder! It means the world to me to be able to visit faculty during office hours, and Dean Monroe of the Honors College always has his door open.”

“I am big advocate for UH when I go home. People have no idea how great a life you can have by attending UH.”

For more information and ways to give, please contact Andrea Ward
at amward2@Central.UH.EDU or 713-743-7873.