Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

February 19 2015

Congratulations to Our First Student Scholarship Winners

Aschley Hopkins Yanda, Member, GMC Communications Committee
The Greater Midwest Chapter congratulates Kaley Page and Sarah Anderson, recipients of the first GMC Student Scholarships. Each will receive a $5,000 tuition-based scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Hilary Rosenthal, chair of the GMC Student Scholarship Committee, said, “It was such an honor to select the first scholarship recipients with my committee members Keri Kelly, Catherine Mills, Colleen Donohoe, and Jenna Blandi-Jurgil. It was really a tough process, coming down to the essays and current and past hospitality experience, both volunteer and professional. As a committee, we were so very impressed with Sarah and Kaley. I see such bright futures for both women.”

Read Sarah and Kaley’s comments about receiving the scholarships below.

Kaley Page
Purdue University

What was your reaction to learning that you are a scholarship recipient?

A little bit of a funny story. A caller ID appeared on my phone that simply said "Unknown." I had my friend answer because I didn't know what an "Unknown" caller even meant. So my friend leaned over and mentioned it was someone from the Sheraton in Chicago. I realized that this may be something big, so I took the call and was informed that I was the recipient of the scholarship. I was in complete shock! She mentioned how the entire board was blown away by my essay, and they felt I was very deserving. I have never been awarded such a large honor, and I was literally left speechless. This scholarship has not only financially blessed me but my entire family as well.

In what ways do you feel this will be helpful?

This scholarship benefits me in many ways. First, it helps me finish my college education on an extremely high note. I have worked very hard throughout my schooling at Purdue University by taking 18 credit hours many semesters and staying each summer to take more courses on top of working two jobs/internships. My hard work will soon pay off as I plan to graduate this coming December, an entire year and a half early! One of my main motivations has been my financial situation; I come from a family who helps me as much as they can, but they still have a family to continually support at home. Therefore, I've been left with hardly any financial aid besides student loans. By lessening my time here, I am saving thousands of dollars and getting a head start on my bright future. This scholarship helps cover my final semester, and I will be able to relax a little more and enjoy my time without fretting over finances. This scholarship also helped boost my self-confidence. Although I know that a wonderful career lies ahead, this honor has proven that I truly can achieve big things. It has strengthened my fiery passion for the event and meeting industry, and I cannot wait to get out in it to make my mark in the world. Finally, this scholarship has helped me realize the true compassion that PCMA gives to its members. Every member is sincerely pulling for the success of each other, and I love this support system. As I grow throughout my career, I know that PCMA is always an organization where I can go for guidance, advice, support, and so much more!

Why do you think you received this award?

I believe that I won this award because of my "go-getter" attitude and determination as described above. I also participate in a variety of school organizations, including the Purdue chapter of PCMA, the Late Night Committee of Purdue Student Union Board, and I am also the event planning chair for my national honor society, Alpha Lambda Delta Phi Eta Sigma. Through it all, I've managed to efficiently balance everything with an excellent work ethic that will surely carry over to my future career. I truly hope to achieve big things in our industry. I also believe that my passion for this industry is evident through all of the things I have accomplished. Thank you SO much for this honor.

Sarah Anderson
Michigan State University

What was your reaction to learning that you are a scholarship recipient?

I was really (pleasantly) surprised and shocked that I received the scholarship. I feel like I apply for so many that never work out. It was great positive reinforcement to have one finally come through, especially from a great organization like PCMA.

In what ways do you feel this will be helpful?

This award will help take some pressure off of my semester tuition payments, as well as help support me as I pursue an internship this summer with Vail Resorts at Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson, Wyoming.

Why do you think you received this award?

To be honest I really cannot be sure why I received this award, considering there are so many worthy applicants and people just like me — driven, focused, and doing well in school. I'd like to think I got the scholarship because I represent a lot of hospitality students, looking to build a career that is not only fun and provides me with opportunities, but also allows me to help people and make a positive impact.