Scholarships open avenues to a life of impact

What Sharae DeWitt ’16 has accomplished since her arrival at Rice could fill a book.

The economics and Latin American studies double major serves on University Court and is an associate justice for Wiess Court. She mentors high school students as a part of the Student Success Academy and serves as the treasurer of the Black Student Association. And let’s not forget her turns in Powder Puff football, gospel choir and musical theater.

A Renaissance woman, Sharae is taking advantage of all the opportunities that Rice provides to explore her interests and carve her own unique path. She credits scholarships with making it all possible.

“The scholarships I receive have made all the difference,” says Sharae DeWitt ‘16, who earned the Trustee Distinguished Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship awarded to admitted students. “Once I visited campus, I decided this was where I wanted to go,” she says.

“Without financial aid, I couldn’t have come to Rice.”

Sharae views her Rice education as the sum of many parts. Her work in the classroom, in residential college leadership, in community service and, beginning this spring, in Nicaragua, is setting the foundation for a life of impact.

“I’ll be going on a research-intensive program to study the effects of the revolution in Nicaragua to see how youth are empowering themselves since the revolution. I’ll be focusing on the Afro-Nicaraguan community. I’ve developed an interest in those of African descent in Latin America, because race relations there are so different than in the United States.”

Sharae is eager to return to campus and share her findings as a way to encourage enlightened discussion about the role of minorities in various societies.

“I came to Rice with a passion for justice and fairness,” she says. “With the support of faculty and leadership and diversity programs, I’ve learned what social justice actually means and found new avenues to make an impact, both here on campus and in the world.”

Learn more about how The Initiative for Students is giving Rice students the education of the future today.

Even as she pursues her own personal development, Sharae is determined to set a leadership example for her peers.

“I particularly want to make sure that minority students see other minority students in leadership roles.”

Her future options are as varied as her student experience. Corporate consulting, constitutional or international law, business school, or an advanced academic degree are all within her reach. Wherever her path leads, her Rice journey began with opportunity.

Investing in future leaders

A gift to the Rice Annual Fund is a gift to the Initiative for Students. When you direct your gift to undergraduate scholarships or graduate student support through the Rice Annual Fund Scholars program, you can personally connect with a student and see the direct impact of your gift.

To learn more, call 713-348-4991 or email giving@rice.edu.

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