First things first, I want to disclose that no amount of words, not even the ones enclosed within these margins will ever be enough when compared to how the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), the Reisher Scholars Program and The Denver Foundation have blessed me.

With that said, my name is Maia Jackson, I am a third year student here at UNC and will start my third semester as a Reisher scholar with my cohort (Continuing ’19) this fall. I am a first-generation college student born and raised in a one-parent, Black American household in Aurora, Colorado. I attend UNC seeking two degrees in both Criminal Justice/Criminology and Psychology with an expected graduation date of May 2022.

I am able to confidently type the above paragraph because of the Reisher Scholars Program and The Denver Foundation. I had forgotten what it felt like to be a part of something bigger than yourself since attending college and to say Reisher filled that empty space would be an understatement. New life long relationships have been built off the single similarity of wanting to receive a higher education but not having the finances to do so.

My appreciation for the Reisher community is heightened not only because of the people I have met but because of the experiences scholars are exposed to are genuine and impactful. Since becoming a Reisher scholar I have been in positions of volunteerism for amazing organizations and causes I would have never thought existed. I have also been presented with networking opportunities pre- and post- graduation in my field of study.

As a Peer Advocate for the scholarship I am allowed to experience and see firsthand the struggles and successes our scholars are faced with. It is humbling to know out of all the daily hassles college students have to deal with, I am a part of an organization that makes sure paying my tuition is not one of them.

I can never say “thank you” enough for allowing me to pursue my dreams and pushing me to always produce my best work. "I appreciate the Reisher Family," will never be enough considering the weight that was lifted off my mother's shoulders the day I told her she didn’t have to worry about going from paycheck to paycheck. However, I thank and appreciate the  Reisher Family and the Reisher Scholars Program for changing my life and until I receive a diploma from UNC, I will continue to help change lives alongside my Reisher community.

Learn more about the Reisher Scholars Program