News - Scholarship Day Brings Prospective Students to Campus and an Alum Who Shares Her GU Story

Scholarship Day Brings Prospective Students to Campus and an Alum Who Shares Her GU Story

Sarah Thomack

 Scholarship Day 2020 at Greenville University

“You can tell a lot about what an institution or university values by what they ‘scholarship.’”

Pedro Valentin, GU’s director of diversity initiatives, welcomed high school students to the Greenville University campus for Scholarship Day on November 13th. 

“Women in leadership, diversity and inclusion, character and service—that gives you a glimpse about what Greenville University cares about . . . what we prioritize,” Valentin told the students before they separated into groups for scholarship interviews.

Sixty-seven students attended in person, and 45 participated in online interviews. The University took safety precautions for its Scholarship Day on campus with masks required as well as socially-distant interviews throughout the morning. GU hosts the annual event for prospective students to participate in the interview process for certain scholarships.  

Last year, Greenville University awarded two full tuition scholarships. Thanks to generous donors, GU is able to award six full tuition scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year. Those include two McAllaster Honors scholarships, two Mosaic Diversity scholarships, one Panther Preferred Character and Service Scholarship and one Women in Leadership scholarship.


Interviews for Women in Leadership scholarships took place in the Ruby E Dare Library on the Greenville University campus

“If you could be a Pop-Tart, what flavor would you be?”

The interviewer posed the icebreaker to young women participating in the small group interviews for the Women in Leadership Scholarship. Topics turned from strawberry filling to weightier questions such as, “Why does service to others matter?” and “What does it mean to you to be an example?”

The event brought back Janisha Pealer ’17 who was asked to speak to the young women about being a woman in leadership. Janisha served in leadership roles on campus as women’s volleyball captain, multicultural senator on student senate, and president of MOSAIC for a year. 

“I feel like those roles prepared me to go outside of the Greenville community, the Greenville space, into the larger world, and impact and make a difference,” Pealer says “[I was prepared to] be able to work with people, problem solve... and just how to work integratively with people from different backgrounds, people who have differing opinions, and work through real issues in the world.” 

Pealer now serves as a legal advocate at a nonprofit in the St. Louis area, which features several programs helping domestic violence victims including counseling, an emergency shelter and more. Pealer’s work centers around helping survivors navigate the legal system and know their rights. 

Pealer expressed excitement at coming back to campus for Scholarship Day to share her GU experience and help interview candidates for the Women in Leadership scholarship.

“It's great to see Greenville taking a step to invest in women,” Pealer says. “There are not only women in leadership at the University, but GU is also being intentional about building up and investing in the next generation of women. This is how true change happens. These young women will be mentored, become leaders themselves, and be prepared to positively impact the world around them.”

Pealer was one of 10 women who spent time interviewing and empowering the 25 Women in Leadership scholarship candidates. The Women in Leadership scholarship will be awarded next week. 

This story was published on November 25, 2020

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