by Angela Farlow '20
Scholarships, Hard Work, and Grandpa’s Incentive Key to Alumna’s Success
When I think about why I chose to attend Cedarville University, there isn’t a specific event that comes to mind. I had always wanted to attend Cedarville, and looking back now, I see how it was a clear working of the Holy Spirit in my life. I knew that I wanted to learn more about God and experience the impact of a relationship with Him on my daily life.
The people whom I had looked to as examples for being a Christian had disappointed me, and I was just beginning to learn what a personal relationship looked like in my Christian walk separate from the role models I had seen. I knew that Cedarville would encourage me to learn even more and grow in my faith.
After I chose to attend Cedarville for my communication degree, my parents were unable to financially support me, leaving me completely on my own to fund my undergraduate education. I had a high school job but still did not have a full understanding of the impact debt would have on my life. I am so thankful for my Grandpa Mickey, who loved me well and walked me through how to fund my education in a wise way that would allow me to work any job that I wanted in my future.
During my senior year of high school, I applied for every outside scholarship that I could. I was beyond thankful to receive several educational and volunteer scholarships that greatly helped me in my first year. In addition, my grandpa generously offered to match every dollar that I earned from my jobs.
This encouraged me to work hard in the summer and throughout my college career. I had several jobs on campus, including working for Admissions, Public Relations, and Human Resources. I also worked full-time jobs throughout my summer breaks. True to his word, Grandpa matched every dollar I made, which I put straight toward my education, doubling the money I was making.
I also applied for donor-funded scholarships during my time at Cedarville. I received the Miriam Maddox Speech Communication Scholarship and the Excellence in Applied Communication Scholarship in 2019–2020. The following year I received the Excellence in Applied Communication Scholarship again! I was honored to receive these scholarships, which helped me limit my debt and work toward financial stability.
When I stop and consider the investment I made to attend Cedarville, I sometimes ask myself if it was worth it. But every time I ask that question, my answer is quickly a definite “Yes!”
Attending Cedarville University was one of the most transformative experiences in my spiritual journey. Not only were my classes taught from a biblical worldview, but the people who surrounded and loved me taught me the beauty of following Christ and living a life honoring Him.
I was surrounded by professors who not only believed in God’s Word but lived it out in every aspect of their lives. I was loved by people at my church and different families that welcomed me. I was also loved by my co-workers and bosses through my jobs. I grew and healed in incredible ways. My experience at Cedarville is something I would pay for and work just as hard for again.
Pursuing Her Passion
After graduating from Cedarville, I was left with $8,937 in unsubsidized government loans, which was a blessing in itself. I started to apply for jobs that matched my passion for advocating for youth and children and fit my skill set in communications and leadership. Knowing that I had minimal debt, which I felt confident I could pay off, allowed me to consider a wider range of job possibilities, some that paid less than others but still engaged the gifting, training, and passion the Lord had given me.
The Lord provided an amazing opportunity to work for a small international nonprofit organization called Chariots for Hope that manages children’s homes in Kenya, Africa. Within three weeks of applying, I interviewed in person in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was offered the job as a Communications Manager and took the bold step to move across the country away from family and friends.
My job has been stretching, and I have learned so much, but I have been most amazed at how present the Lord was in leading me to this point. Because of generous people in my life and hard work, I paid off all my undergraduate debt in just one year. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be debt-free and serving the Lord in a job that allows me to love children, donors, co-workers, and other friends of our organization with a love that only comes from understanding what Jesus did on the cross for us. I have had the opportunity to travel to Kenya, Africa, multiple times, and I am always humbled in the ways that I have been so generously blessed.
I am so thankful to be in a place where I can be generous toward others and toward the incredible people living in Kenya. What incredible joy comes from giving and what a significant difference it can make. Because of my grandpa and those who gave to Cedarville, I can experience the joy of a life lived for Him and serving others.
Angela Farlow ’20 is Communications Manager for Chariots for Hope, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that cares for vulnerable and orphaned children through children’s homes in Kenya.