For many of the great, great successes of the world, the background they came from was their great challenge. I’m trying to find those people. Those who may not have the highest grade point or a perfect family background, but who can be successful. These are the ones who will lend the helping hands in the future. ~ Christina Hixson
The Hixson Opportunity Awards began at our university in 1995. Since that time, I have read thousands of scholarship applications, hoping to identify the student who is most deserving and most needs our support. The student who will become that helping hand of the future.
I have instructed our students as they muddled through the first college year. We have spent endless hours counseling students struggling with a class, roommate, finances or the multitude of challenges faced by first-generation college students in the quest for a degree. Most importantly, we have helped to develop leaders and scholars through connections, resources, and occasional 3 a.m. phone calls. Our program focus of community, challenge and support has become a model for retention and graduation success duplicated at other universities.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first Hixson Scholars graduating from Iowa State, my good friend Steve Sullivan revisited many of the students he featured in stories over the years. Our students, and now our alumni, are the backbone of the Hixson Program. Take a peek at his Visions magazine feature.