Austin, TX – Thanks to a $5,000 scholarship from Watermark, Beau McLeod and Renee McGirt are one step closer to achieving their academic aspirations. Watermark, an industry-leading software provider purpose-built for higher education, announced today that these two community college students are winners of the 2022 Watermark Scholars Scholarship Program.
This year, Watermark asked applicants to submit a two-minute video responding to the following questions: what challenges have you overcome to be a successful student, and what are you inspired to do after graduation? After reviewing hundreds of submissions, Beau McLeod and Renee McGirt were selected as the winners.
Growing up in the foster care system and struggling with substance abuse, McLeod didn’t know if he could achieve the educational milestones he saw his friends reaching. But after committing to his sobriety, enrolling in community college, and connecting with a counselor who specialized in supporting former foster youths, he hit his stride. McLeod is currently a student at MiraCosta College in pursuit of a business degree. “I want to be in service to my community,” he states. Through his current work as a sponsor for Alcoholics Anonymous and his future aspirations of owning his own moving company that specializes in giving jobs to recovering alcoholics, McLeod is well on his way to achieving his goals.
McGirt is currently enrolled in the Master Instructor of Cosmetology program at Clary Sage College. She hopes to use this degree to further her community impact. Outside of class, McGirt volunteers for BeHeard Movement, a nonprofit organization in Tulsa, Oklahoma, offering free haircuts to those experiencing homelessness. After she completes her program, she plans to provide apprenticeships to those experiencing homelessness and offer cosmetology classes in women’s prisons. “I received my cosmetology degree while I was incarcerated, and it has helped me become an entrepreneur,” McGirt says, “I want to use my degree to help incarcerated women have a successful life after prison.”
Watermark’s CEO Erin Shy reflected on this year’s scholarship winners, saying “I was moved by McLeod’s and McGirt’s impassioned storytelling. Both individuals have worked so hard to overcome adversity and share inspiring visions for the future. I’m proud that Watermark can help them achieve their academic goals, and I wish them all the best on their journeys.”
At Watermark, insights inspire progress. Watermark’s software gives higher education institutions the insights they need to improve, evolve, and empower student success. Watermark’s integrated digital solutions support assessment and accreditation, faculty activity reporting, course evaluation and surveys, and catalog and curriculum development for more than 1,700 higher education institutions worldwide. Learn more at watermarkinsights.com.
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