Anyea Gooch remembers the overwhelming feeling when she opened her first bill from Vincennes University as a freshman.

“How am I going to do this?” she thought.

Then, she checked her bill through the Vincennes digital portal. The online version showed her scholarships applied, including one from 21st Century Scholars to cover all of her tuition. A sense of relief and gratitude swept over her.

“The 21st Century Scholars program has been a huge help.”

Her mother, Nadine, signed Anyea up for the program at Shortridge Middle School in Indianapolis. Nadine was raising four children by herself on a custodian’s salary. So, she encouraged her children to apply for as many scholarships and college prep programs as possible.

Anyea studied theatre for two years at Vincennes before transferring to Ball State to major in advertising and minor in technical theater.

At Ball State, Anyea shined, immersing herself in numerous activities and sevice roles, from Voice of Triumph Gospel Choir, to the Black Student Association and volunteering across the Muncie community. She even served as a transfer-student ambassador in the Office of Retention and Graduation.

“What didn’t I do?” she joked.

She is now the Program Director for after-school care at Eliza A. Blaker Elementary School in Indianapolis.

Without 21st Century Scholars, college would have been difficult. And transferring to a traditional four-year school may have been impossible, Anyea said.

Closing the Gap in Educational Achievement

Ball State University’s 21st Century Scholars have been vital to closing the achievement gap, curbing the brain drain, and more. Want to know how this program has made a difference for our students? Read more of their stories.