For first-generation students, navigating higher education for the first time often presents unique challenges. The Opportunity Scholars program at the David Eccles School of Business is designed to help break down those barriers so students can achieve excellence, both in and out of the classroom.
On Tuesday, March 19, current members of the cohort met with program alums during their monthly meeting. This was a chance for students to network with others who had benefited from the program. It also gave alumni the opportunity to share advice with current students.
During her keynote address, Anfissa Silva, CPA, Audit Senior Associate at KPMG US, spoke about how the program had helped her. Sharing a story that many students could relate to, she talked about the struggles she faced in financing her education, and how a scholarship from the program was able to help her continue and graduate.
Perhaps the most impactful thing she shared, however, was how to make the most of the Opportunity Scholars program. Her first tip was to “reach for excellence” and do your best work in school. “Is it hard work? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes,” she said.
Her next piece of advice was to take advantage of the resources offered through Business Career Services. Through coaching and help offered through the center, she was able to get a great job with KPMG while furthering her education through the MAcc program.
She also encouraged students to show appreciation to their donors for their support, however they could. Following that, she asked program alums in the room to give back to the program through donations or mentorships. The program relies heavily on the support of community partners to give students one-of -a-kind opportunities. She acknowledged how crucial those relationships are to the program.
The Eccles School community appreciates the hard work that Rich Kafusi, Latu Kinikini, and several others put in to make the program successful. They are truly changing the lives of Eccles School students.
To learn more about the Opportunity Scholars program, visit their website.