During her junior year of college, Nichole Land entered the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) and took a chance on the life she wanted by applying for a Camille & Clifford Kendall Endowed Scholarship. Nichole’s goal was to graduate with her bachelor’s degree, not only for herself, but for her family as well. One of nine children, Nichole was the first from her family to attend college.
“I knew I wanted more out of life and I knew education was the key, but I didn’t have the finances to do it,” said Nichole.
Nichole is one of more than 75 deserving students at Shady Grove who have received a scholarship on behalf of the Kendalls. With a full full-tuition scholarship, she enjoyed being a part of a tight-knit group of communications majors at USG. She remembers the excellence of the advising offices at Shady Grove, who helped plan her entire college track during her first meeting with her advisor, as well as the workshops and programs offered outside of the classroom that made student life a great experience for her.
In 2008, a program was established for Kendall scholarship recipients, that matches Kendall scholars with mentors who help them reach academic success and future career goals. Nichole’s mentor was Steve Hull.
“Right from the beginning we connected and started a wonderful journey that helped me immensely as I prepared to graduate and re-enter the work world… He was dedicated to being a mentor and making a difference and I was dedicated to making the best of this second chance I had to complete my education,” Nichole said. Steven and Nichole still see each other often and she considers him her mentor for life.
Since graduating in 2014, Nichole has given back to the Kendall program by being a mentor, participating in offerings at the college, and donating to USG. She also gives back in her career, where she is a representative of Shady Grove. Post-graduation, Nichole worked at the non-profit, Interfaith Works and currently, she works at Montgomery College on a five-year, grant-funded nursing initiative as an administrative aide. She is a member of the USG Board of Advisors and the Montgomery College Alumni Board, and strives to help others make a better path for their lives, whether through education or by providing a safety net to help others land on their feet.
Nichole has met many students in the Kendall program who are achieving wonderful things and are passionate about the opportunities they have been given. According to Nichole, these students have overcome major obstacles and are serious about making the best of the educational opportunity they’ve been given. Without the Kendall scholarship, it’s not only the students who miss out, but the community who benefits from the great work these students achieve and will achieve in the future.
“Think of how much the community would be missing out if they didn’t have that chance, said Nichole. “I know for myself, the Kendall Scholarship was that chance for me and I am determined to use all that was given to me to do the best I can with it and also help others along the way. The Kendall Scholarship Program will always have my support and I will continue to advocate for it because I know firsthand the impact that it has.”
Nichole hopes that the Kendall program continues to thrive and that many other students will benefit from it's funding at Shady Grove.
Click here to see how you can donate to scholarship funds at Shady Grove.