A successful return
Demetrees Hutchins returned to IUPUI in the fall of 2001 because of her history here and the "refreshing" experience she had the first time around. As a returning student, Hutchins received a Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars Award, which is one of the most prestigious scholarships on the IUPUI campus. Commenting on the scholarship, Hutchins said, “It is also one of the most holistic scholarships in the nation in that it provides complete financial coverage in addition to personal, professional, and academic mentoring.”
Hutchins learned of the scholarship while she was completing her service with AmeriCorps in 2001. Several colleagues at the Peace Learning Center were working with multiple community leaders to build relationships and to gain funding to support higher education. They had gotten word of a new scholarship program being funded by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, and they helped her apply. Within a few days, Hutchins became one of the first ever Nina Scholars.
When asked how the scholarship has impacted her education, Hutchins replied, “The Nina Legacy Scholars program has provided me with the tools necessary to not only matriculate and attain two undergraduate degrees, [but] it gave me the confidence I need to continue my education. Today I have two graduate degrees and am working on two postgraduate degrees, in addition to my undergraduate accomplishments; all while remaining on the dean’s list!”
Hutchins knows that attaining a scholarship takes dedication and hard work. She counsels other students: “Don’t just stop at the scholarship office on a college campus when looking for scholarships or help. There are . . . nonprofit organizations and private foundations that have scholarship opportunities available for students from all backgrounds.”
Hutchins believes that it is key for a student to not only widen his or her search but also to take full advantage of all the resources and opportunities offered through a university’s scholarship program.