That isn’t the case for Melissa Stewart. Stewart knew in middle school that her family lacked the financial means to attend college, so, as a freshman, she applied for – and won – a Take Stock in Children scholarship. Earning this scholarship required that she make excellent academic progress throughout high school. Stewart took this obligation seriously, graduating in the top 5 percent of her class. She soon received USF’s highest scholarship for incoming freshmen.
Receiving the Presidential Scholars Award required the Honors College student to continue to achieve in the classroom and to participate in a myriad of activities.
Stewart sought out opportunities to get involved on campus and in the community. She began to volunteer at Junior Achievement’s BizTown Center, helping elementary schoolers learn the basics of business. She helped launch a Toastmasters chapter. She joined Delta Delta Delta and took on leadership roles. She was elected to serve on USF’s Panhellenic Executive Board. There, she was charged with the group’s fiscal management, handling several budgets totalling $64,000 and helping to write the financial policies and procedures sections of its strategic plan.
Recently, Stewart was hired as a part-time student ambassador to coordinate financial literacy programs and activities at GTE Financial. In addition, she was asked to serve as a team leader to help the company establish a full-service student-operated credit union. She will graduate with dual degrees in finance and management (with a minor in accounting); GTE Financial has offered her a full-time position upon graduation.