What a Difference Opportunity Makes
At Clarkson University, we open minds, forge new paths and transform the world around us. We do this not alone but through the purposeful generosity of others. Each year, by making a gift to The Clarkson Fund, you are helping equip and empower students to impact the world positively. You are honoring academic achievements, a commitment to community and a relentless pursuit of purpose.
Read more about our Golden Knights and their Golden Opportunities.
Outweigh the Odds
Alexis Alexander ’23
I knew I wanted to go to college from a young age. I grew up in an impoverished Black community in Washington, D.C., where it was instilled in us to go to college, get an education and make a better life for ourselves.
With this goal in mind, I pushed and challenged myself to do things I never thought possible. In high school, I studied abroad in Peru on a scholarship and did a lot of volunteer work. I even traveled across the U.S. to national parks and continued to volunteer on scholarships.
However, life got rocky around my junior year of high school. My mom got injured at work and ultimately lost all of her income. Then my grandmother passed away. Soon after, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and my sister with multiple sclerosis. The medical bills started piling up, and we became homeless. These compounding factors challenged my determination and focus. But I couldn’t allow myself to make excuses. Pursuing a college degree was not up for debate.
When applying to colleges, the constant worry on my mind was the financial aspect. I didn’t have the luxury of choosing a school based on location, thinking about my social life or considering any of the other usual factors that drive students toward a particular school. On the plus side, my hard work had paid off; getting into schools wasn’t a problem. But it was very disheartening when the financial aid packages started coming in. Even with financial aid and scholarships, I’d have to take on hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt… until Clarkson.