Donor Wishes Meet Student Dreams

     Art by scholarship recipient, Maria Guiza Beltran.    

While Maria Guiza Beltran dreamed of studying art, she is also talented in math and science. Thanks to one local donor, Maria is currently majoring in Fine Arts with a math minor at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) and the first recipient of the PINC (Poverty is Not a Choice) Scholarship.

Inspired by the Nebraska Loves Public Schools film by the same name which explores the day-to-day realities faced by students living in poverty, the scholarship donor set up the fund that would provide a generous scholarship to someone displaying extreme financial need. The donor also wanted to support an individual wishing to study the arts.

“A lot of people suggested that I not go into the arts,” said Maria, a first-generation college student whose mother didn’t have the same opportunities and only studied until the sixth grade. “I felt really grateful and encouraged that I could do it. It is amazing that there was a scholarship for art. It was encouraging.”

Cornhusker Bank set up two scholarships several years ago in the names of their founders, George and Cecile Frampton. Grandson and current Chairman of Cornhusker Bank, John Dittman, loves how easy it is to support students through their LCF scholarship funds.

“You make it so easy to set up and will do whatever the donor wants,” he said. “While there are always ups and downs in the market, our funds have seen nice growth. It makes us want to add to the funds.”

One of last year’s scholarship winners, Hae Paw, is a graduate of Lincoln High School. Hae came to the US in 8th grade after being born in a refugee camp in Thailand. Her parents, Karen refugees, both died before having a chance for stability and safety. Her father died suddenly in the camp and her mother died after a long battle with cancer after returning to her birthplace in Burma.

As the youngest of 9 children, she is one of only four to be afforded the opportunity of a new life in America. She entered Park Middle School knowing no English, learning fast and moving up quickly.

“My family never had the chance to even graduate from high school,” she said. “When you grow up in a refugee camp, we don’t explore opportunities.”

Hae is the first in her family to attend college, now studying nursing at UNL. “The lack of support given to my parents by health providers was proof that I needed to contribute to the medical profession,” she explained in her scholarship application.

“Because of this scholarship, I can reach my dreams,” she said. “The money won’t be wasted. I will use it for good.”

You can help students achieve success with a scholarship fund. Contact Tracy Edgerton, Vice President for Strategic Giving, at or 402-474-2345.