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Inaugural Vancouver Scholarship Award Reception to highlight importance of financial assistance, donors’ generosity

Stories | 10.23.23

Antoinette Andoh-Quayson’s reaction was proof of her disbelief — and joy — to learn that she would be among the recipients of this year’s donor-funded Dean’s Equity and Impact Scholarship.

“I literally screamed in class,” Andoh-Quayson said, laughing. “I was really surprised and excited.”

Photo of Antoinette Andoh-Quayson

Antoinette Andoh-Quayson will highlight the importance of donors and scholarships to students this year’s inaugural Vancouver Scholarship Award Reception.

This summer, she was in communication with Student Services to potentially go on a tuition payment plan. So when she learned of the scholarship news at her Social Justice Practicum (SJP) class, she audibly expressed a sigh of relief.

“The scholarship really lessened the burden I had,” said Andoh-Quason, who is in the Joy MacPhail Master’s in Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) program. “It has helped me continue my education at Adler University.”

Andoh-Quayson will share that experience — highlighting the importance of donors and scholarships to students — and her story of moving from Ghana to further her education in public policy and administration at this year’s inaugural Vancouver Scholarship Award Reception. The event will be held on Nov. 1, from 2-4 p.m. in Community Hall on the Vancouver Campus.

The event is a celebration that seeks to raise awareness of the various donor- and University-funded scholarships available for students, the work of the Adler University Vancouver Foundation (AUVF), acknowledge the 2022-23 scholarship recipients, and praise the generous donors who make these scholarships possible.

Current donor-funded scholarships available to Vancouver Campus students also include the Kelty and Riley Dennehy Scholarship, Joy MacPhail MPPA Leadership Scholarship, and the Clair Ladner Hawes Scholarship. These generous gifts are facilitated by the AUVF, the charitable arm of the Vancouver Campus which was established in 2017 to support Adler students. Over recent years, the AUVF has seen a significant increase in the number of individual major donors who have proudly invested in student scholarships for Adler University students. In addition, there are also about a dozen University-funded scholarships available to students from all three campuses.

Established in Spring 2021, the Dean’s Equity and Impact Scholarship is funded by annual donors and Brad O’Hara, Ph.D., executive dean of the Vancouver Campus.

For the Dean’s Equity and Impact Scholarship, each recipient receives $5,000 (in local currency) to support retention and celebrate the students’ impact in the community during their SJP placement. This past Spring, five students received this generous award.

“At Adler University, our mission is to prepare future mental health practitioners and graduate social justice leaders while creating an equitable and inclusive community,” Dr. O’Hara said. “I am so proud to lead this new donor-funded scholarship which not only gives priority to students from under-represented populations but also recognizes the incredible work they do every day in our unique Social Justice Practicum program.”

The SJP is a non-clinical practicum that focuses on providing support to nonprofits that have put social justice work at the forefront of their mission. Since 2014, Adler University students have actively assisted community partners in advancing their mission of fighting injustice. Every year, 140 students are placed in local organizations, resulting in 28,000-32,000 hours contributed annually. Students’ day-to-day work includes grant-writing, advocacy, community outreach, program and resource development, and policy work.

For Andoh-Quayson, the SJP program was a big reason for her decision to move from Ghana to Canada.

“I wanted to learn more about the political processes and systems outside of Ghana,” she said. “I’m also very passionate about equity and equality, especially when it comes to women.”

Andoh-Quayson’s SJP experience included serving on the operations team of Shelter Movers Vancouver, a nonprofit that assists in moving women from abusive homes to shelters or safer locations. She coordinated logistics, including creating itineraries, booking storage facilities and vehicles, and helping the women and their children move. Last December, she also assisted the fundraising team.

After her time at Adler, Andoh-Quayson said she plans to further her SJP experience by finding work in the nonprofit sector. However, she’s also interested in doing more internships that allow her to gain hands-on experience in various public policy sectors.

“If there were tasks or words that I could do or say to show how grateful I am, I would,” she said. “It has been an immense support to me, and I couldn’t have continued my education at Adler without this scholarship.”

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