Central Washington University

Faces of CWU Scholarship Support

Scholarship support from foundations, alumni, and donors is a crucial factor in helping propel student success at CWU.

With 73.8 percent of degree-seeking students having received financial aid in the 2017-18 academic year, the need for scholarship support is more prevalent than ever. The following are just a few of the 787 students who have benefited from scholarships at Central in the last year:

Darion christiansen

Darion Christiansen

Darion Christiansen

W.J. Pennington Scholarship

Darion Christiansen has always had a passion for computer technology. For as long as he can remember, he has taken equipment apart just to see how it was put together. The Spanaway, Washington native received his associate degree in computer network engineering from Pierce College and now attends CWU, working to get his bachelor’s in cybersecurity and planning on staying to complete his master’s degree.

“The W.J. Pennington Scholarship funding will help me continue following my degree path here at CWU,” he says. “This means the world to me, and I cannot thank them enough for the support. Without scholarships like these, many students, including myself, would not be able to continue our education.”

Marivel nevarez

Marivel Nevarez


Marivel Nevarez

Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship

Marivel Nevarez wants to fnd work that allows her to combine what she’s learning in business and marketing at CWU with her Hispanic culture. An upcoming senior, Nevarez is majoring in business administration and specializing in marketing. Upon graduating, she plans to search for internships that will lead her into a multicultural advertising role. Tanks to the aid of scholarships, she will graduate from Central debt-free which brings her a great sense of relief.

“Scholarship support means a lot to me, not only as a student, but as a person. Being a first-generation student, I have found a lot of academic support within my university,” Nevarez says. “My parents came to the United States from Mexico about 25 years ago. Through hard work and dedication, they have taught me that I can achieve and accomplish my wildest dreams—that I can dream big without anything holding me down.”


Thomas effinger

Thomas Effinger

Thomas Effinger

Sally Wagner Piano Scholarship;
Men and Women of the ’50s;
Schaake Music Scholarship;
Tekla Askegaard Hertz Scholarship;
Presser Foundation Scholarship;
Piano Scholarship

At the age of four, Thomas Effinger was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. From third through eighth grade, he took social skills classes and had coursework he found to be unchallenging. But as he grew older, he discovered a passion
for music, which helped him better focus in school. Today, he is working hard towards a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and has the support of six different scholarships to assist him in getting there.

“When I reached high school, I was entirely unprepared for the leap in expectations of my coursework,” he recalls. “I was no longer in special education classes and moved from learning a reduced curriculum to fully participating in my district’s STEM magnet [program]. I began studying music as a junior in high school, and since I first began performing at the piano I’ve had my heart set on becoming a professional musician. I could not be more thankful for this scholarship.”


Brooklyn isaacs

Brooklyn Isaacs

Brooklyn Isaacs

Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship

Brooklyn Isaacs is paying it forward. Currently studying public relations and web design management at Central, for the past four years Isaacs has been active as a student and employee in the TRIO Student Support Services, a program that provides a range of services to first generation college students. As she strives to provide a better life for herself than she experienced during her childhood, she is grateful for the support she received from scholarships and TRIO, both of which helped push her through difficult classes and personal setbacks while building her portfolio and focus on classes.

“Since I was a little girl, I had only dreamt of being in the position I am today. Dreaming of a better life than that of my childhood, I can confidently say that with the help of this scholarship, I am one step closer to making that dream a reality,” she says. “As I move forward into my final year at CWU, I strive to be the best student I can be. Though I have been through a lot, my past doesn’t define my future—and no one can take away my education.”


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