Life Changing Gifts

fritsch-220x267aSenior Aimeé Fritsch worried about paying for college while growing up near the Idaho border in Ontario, Oregon.

Knowing her family could not afford to send her to a university, she completed a two-year associate’s degree at her local community college while still in high school.

First in her high school graduating class of 124, she earned a bundle of accolades including what she calls her “golden ticket”—a prestigious Ford Family Foundation scholarship.

“I opened that envelope and thought, oh my gosh, my life is changed,” she said.

Her financial dilemma solved, Aimeé began researching universities and discovered the UO’s program in planning, public policy and management. “If I could design a program it would look just like that,” she said.

Still, Aimeé had never seen the UO campus—and wouldn’t until after signing her acceptance letter.

”I was nervous about that,” she admitted, “but when I got here, it immediately felt like home.”

Her financial aid package, which also includes a donor-funded UO Presidential Scholarship and work-study grants, adds up to a full ride in the Robert D. Clark Honors College.

She’s grateful that scholarships allow her to enjoy the full fouryear university experience of her dreams. She studied in Spain for a term and became a leader in several student groups.

Last spring the Friars, an honorary society established in 1910 for outstanding juniors, tapped her for membership. This year she serves as a peer minister at the St. Thomas More Newman Center.

After she graduates next June, Aimeé looks forward to a career in nonprofits. “I’ve seen the difference they make,” she said, “and I hope to pay my bills by doing what I love.”

First, however, there’s the matter of her thesis, an honors college requirement. Hers will pilot a study examining the impact of the Ford Family Foundation’s philanthropy in Oregon communities.

You can help

A Presidential Scholarship is the UO’s premier academic award for incoming freshmen from Oregon high schools.

The UO selects about fifty Presidential Scholars per year.

Each receives approximately $36,000 over four years of undergraduate study.

Including a gift to support Presidential Scholarships in your estate plan will allow the UO to help more students.

Careers Privacy Policy About Find People © University of Oregon. All rights Reserved.