The Conrad Prebys Foundation

The Conrad Prebys Foundation is gratefully acknowledged for their generous scholarship support of the NU Scholars program.

Steph Allen-Norris

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Vice President and Former Treasurer, Pride@NU
  • - Panelist, Breaking Into STEM

“I feel that The Conrad Prebys Foundation scholarship absolutely changed the trajectory of my education. I have always worked full-time while going to school to help fund my education. I was able to self-fund my Associate’s Degree but needed to take out loans to help with my undergraduate degree. Since receiving the scholarship, I have been able to focus less on how to fund my education and more time on my education itself. I have relaxed my hours at work and have spent more time on personal programming projects to add to my resume. I was also able to complete a mentorship program with Microsoft that I would not have been able to be a part of otherwise. Thank you so much to The Conrad Prebys Foundation for supporting my educational journey.”

Jiaunna Arnell

Bachelor of Arts, Early Childhood Education with a multiple subject credential - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Founder and former President, OMEGA NU
  • - American Heart Association volunteer, fitness walk, bike-a-thon
  • - Panelist, CARE/EOPS Program-Grossmont College
  • - Diwali Festival coordinator—Mira Mesa Rec Center

“This scholarship made my completion for my program possible. As a single parent and low-income student, I really needed financial assistance concerning textbooks. Even prior to transferring to National, I had previous experience with the difficulty of having to ensure I had the necessary reading materials. This scholarship lowered my anxiety and bolstered my ability to succeed knowing I had a clear and confirmed way to handle this portion of my academic requirements. Thank you all to The Conrad Prebys Foundation that helped to make this scholarship possible. I will never forget this generosity. You can’t put a price on this type of student help and academic encouragement.”

Carrisa Bernal

Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law Studies, Minor in Political Science - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Co-founder and Vice President, Phi Alpha Delta Pre-law society, NU chapter
  • - Membership coordinator, Phi Alpha Delta

“The Conrad Prebys Foundation (TCPF) grant, generously given to the NU Scholars Program, has impacted my life not only by allowing me to further my education, but it has also allowed me an opportunity to make it realistic and affordable. As an adult, it’s hard to find the financial balance of continuing to pursue educational dreams and maintaining a steady home. TCPF has granted me that second opportunity I had been seeking to make my dreams of becoming an attorney more realistic. As a mother to a young daughter, this gift impacts her life as well, since I can graduate with a bachelor’s without debt. Continuing an affordable education has been a dream that is now true thanks to The Conrad Prebys Foundation. Thank you!”

Taylor Carpenter

Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communication - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Member, OmegaNU
  • - Former President of Associated Students, San Diego Mesa College

“I would like to extend a deep, heartfelt expression of gratitude to The Conrad Prebys Foundation for the grant money that is funding my education. As a person who has mobility challenges, being able to earn my degree online from anywhere has been a tremendous benefit to my life. Coming from a single-parent teacher’s salary household, I really didn’t know how I was going to fund my degrees when I started my educational journey.

Thanks to generous donors and policymakers, both of my associate’s degrees were covered by a federal grant. Coming from a community college and being a part of something as special as the NU Scholar’s Program, and having such incredible opportunities and options afforded to me, is an honor and privilege beyond measure.

Thank you for providing the funding for the resources that I need to achieve my educational goals. Thanks to The Conrad Prebys Foundation, with the degree I am earning now, I am planning on going into accessibility consulting and educational policy. I will continue to be an advocate for my disability community, as well as an effective leader and agent of change.”

Kelsey Kennedy

Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Veteran, U.S. Navy - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Vice President, OMEGANU
  • - Organizer and panelist, Military Appreciation Month Student Panel
  • - American Heart Association fundraiser, Bike-a-thon
  • - Public Health Student Organization, member
  • - Coordinator and organizer, Public Health Week events

“I am very blessed to have been chosen to be a part of the National University Scholars Program which was funded by The Conrad Prebys Foundation. Entering a university you already have the stressor of figuring out how you are going to learn all you can, then pass your courses and graduate—never mind the stressor of paying for it all. Being provided the chance to fulfill my education and not have to worry about how it will affect my family financially is something I am so grateful for.

Being a mother of two young children, a wife and full-time employee already was on my mind when I pursued my degree plan. I am grateful for the ability to focus on helping others and not having to worry about how I will pay for my degree during--or after-- graduation. Thank you so much to The Conrad Prebys Foundation; you made my dreams come true and helped me to focus on my education, be involved with my fellow students, and build bonds I could never forget.”

Mary Mullins

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Member, NU Alumni Association, Southern California Region
  • - Coordinator and teacher, Art After School Program for Special Ed students

“I want to thank The Conrad Prebys Foundation for supporting my educational journey. Growing up, I was paid little attention to when it came to academics. I did not think I was worthy of being a scholarly person let alone deserve the honor of a scholarship such as the one your foundation granted.

I want to thank you for believing in the NU Scholars Program and believing in people like me: an adult learner, returning to school as an undergraduate, and a mom to several kids. I feel like a new person as I graduate college. I am grounded, confident, and eager to pass my story along to others in my community who may feel as I once did.

Your support through NU Scholars will never be forgotten. Thank you so very much to The Conrad Prebys Foundation!”

Kelly Halls

Bachelor of Science, Healthcare Administration, Veteran, U.S. Marine Corps - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Student Veteran Organization
  • - Panelist, Military Appreciation Student Experience event

“I am a grateful member of the National University Scholars Program, which has been generously funded by The Conrad Prebys Foundation.

This scholarship has awarded me the ability to continue my education while not having to stress about my finances. I am a Registered Dental Hygienist, and I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. I am also married to an active-duty Marine, mother of a teen and 2 pups. Needless to say, when I get home every day I am exhausted.

I have a goal to be the first in my family to complete college. Due to receiving this scholarship from The Conrad Prebys Foundation I have been given the freedom to give my time to my family, giving my patients the best care, and completing my goal of graduating college. Thank you so much!”

Sucharaht “Serofina” Pikultong

Bachelor Science in Computer Science - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Member, OmegaNU
  • - Panelist and organizer, Breaking into STEM

“I am an immigrant student from Thailand, and during my undergraduate studies, I planned to work, but I did want to focus a lot of my time on my studies. The scholarship through The Conrad Prebys Foundation makes so much difference to me because the scholarship will allow me to cover college financial issues that may hold me back from reaching my career. To me, studying and working at the same time makes it hard to focus on my class. After I got the scholarship, I was less stressed about worrying about college fees. I also was able to organize and be a panelist at the Breaking into STEM event, focusing on helping women and non-binary people get into the STEM field. I major in computer science and wanted other women to get into this field, too.

Also, The Conrad Prebys Foundation scholarship helps me by allowing me to reduce work shifts to free up more study time. It helps me focus more on my attention in class to earn the credits.

This scholarship will allow me to pursue the education I need to achieve my career goals. My family is so proud that I got the scholarship. I am very grateful to The Conrad Prebys Foundation for your generosity.”

Eva Muollo

Bachelor of Science, Nursing - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Monitor, NU Engage
  • - Social media volunteer, Crossroads Recovery Foundation
  • - Fundraising, Crossroads Recovery Foundation
  • - CARE/EOPS-Grossmont College holiday party volunteer and organizer

“I am a grateful member of the National University Scholars Program, which has been funded by The Conrad Prebys Foundation. This scholarship has allowed me to keep my head above water while attending nursing school.

I decided to become a nurse because I wanted to work in public health, and serve those struggling with mental health and addiction in San Diego. I volunteer at various organizations who assist these communities. Because of this scholarship, I have been given the freedom to devote my time to those who need it most, in addition to focusing on my nursing studies.

I will be able to utilize these experiences and apply the knowledge I have gained at National University in order to provide the best health outcomes for my patients. I am so grateful to The Conrad Prebys Foundation for supporting my goals, so that I can help our local San Diego community.”

Christen Valentine

Bachelor of Arts, Early Childhood Education - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Alumni Association, Member
  • - American Heart Association Love Your Heart Walk, volunteer
  • - Member, OmegaNU
  • - Panelist: Parenting During the Time of COVID

“I will forever be grateful for the scholarship that I was granted through the National University Scholars Program funded by The Conrad Prebys Foundation. This scholarship not only helped my family financially, but it also allowed me to be exposed to more things that National has to offer.

I was laid off and we took a huge cut in our finances so that I could pursue my childhood dream of being a teacher. I have four children and two of my children have medical needs. I was not able to work due to the numerous doctors appointments that my children had. We almost went bankrupt and, quite honestly, I almost quit school because I was so worried about our financial situation and the medical bills were piling up. I will never forget the day Patricia at NU called me and told me that I was accepted into the Scholars Program. That was the day that a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders, not only financially but emotionally as well.

I cannot express how thankful I am that I was granted this scholarship from The Conrad Prebys Foundation! It alleviated so much financial and emotional stress, and I did not have to worry about taking out anymore student loans or worrying about having to pay for my books. Without this scholarship through the generosity of The Conrad Prebys Foundation, I honestly do not think I would have finished the program.

Thank you for helping my family and for helping me pursue my dream of becoming a teacher!”

Caroline Bischel

Master of Science in Management Information Systems - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Pride@NU SafeZones facilitator and trainer, trained over 25+ students
  • - Panelist, Women in STEM
  • - Co-organizer, BIPOC event

“The scholarship provided by National University’s Scholars Program, funded by The Conrad Prebys Foundation (TCPF), provided me with the gift of education. This gift allowed me the rare opportunity to turn my focus away from the stress of funding my education and, instead, allowed me to fully immerse myself in my degree program.

Funding an education shouldn’t be a barrier to learning, growth, and achieving my dreams; however, in today’s society, it is the inevitable weight bearing down on you in your pursuit of any educational path. To receive such an amazing scholarship from The Conrad Prebys Foundation, which ultimately lowered those barriers, allowed me to fully focus on leadership and service. In addition, by funding the NU Scholars Program, your scholarship gave me entry into an amazing community, full of brilliant, inspiring advisors and fellow students. This community really pulled my entire master’s program together, and I can’t imagine getting my degree at National without it.”

Tania Bogart

Master’s in Education with Emphasis in Social Emotional Learning, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - President, Educators United
  • - Organizer, Student Panels: Breaking into STEM; Celebrating Families
  • - Organizer, Back to school backpack drive to benefit San Diego Global Vision Academy
  • - TEACH (Together Educating All Children) volunteer and director (educates chronically ill children in hospitals)

“Being the recipient of The Conrad Prebys Foundation grant has impacted my life—that of my family-- in many incredible ways. Beyond the financial burden being eased on our military family, this scholarship has provided me with invaluable resources that have allowed me to become a better leader, community outreach liaison, and educator.

As the President of our new student organization Educators United, I have been able to play a fundamental part in others’ lives by creating a resource for students at National University that gives back to our members and our community. We have hosted various events that highlight important topics in equitable education, held various meetings on teacher mentorship, facilitated a certified mental health aid training, and created a podcast for students entering the field of education. Educators United also hosted a backpack drive where hundreds of supplies and backpacks were collected for an underprivileged school in San Diego. Educators United has given me the opportunity to plan, organize, and lead events and others, and has given me an incredible sense of accomplishment and pride.

The skills of our leadership certification, as well as various training that we have been fortunate enough to receive, has given us the tools to accomplish all of this in a short period of time. As a military spouse and stay-at-home mother of three children, I have been given the opportunity to develop myself professionally and personally. I now have the ability to harness these strengths, and I have found that I can contribute and do so much more than I ever imagined.

I’m able to give back to my community by utilizing the skills I have gained through my master’s degree coursework and as an NU Scholar and as a recipient of the Conrad Prebys Foundation grant. Thank you very much for your generous scholarship support.”

Jen Gold

Master of Education with Integrated Credential, Biology, Art - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Marketing Manager, OmegaNU
  • - Member, Educators United
  • - Website designer and external graphics, OmegaNU
  • - External graphics and collateral, OmegaNU
  • - SafeZones facilitator
  • - Moderator, Breaking into STEM, World Refugee Day Student Panels

“The Conrad Prebys Foundation scholarship is a life-changing grant that has allowed me to pursue my dreams of teaching without the added financial stress and burden of going into debt. Teaching is my dream job, but it usually takes many years for most educators to pay off the loans and debt they’ve acquired to become trained educators. Because I won’t have student loan debt, I have one less thing to stress about and can better focus on my student’s unique learning needs while student teaching and passing my CalTPAs!”

Vania Ramirez

Master of Education, Special Education with Preliminary Education Specialist Credential, Moderate-Severe - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Educators United, Interclub Council Representative
  • - Co-coordinator, COVID-19 student panel
  • - Research project: Special Education Knowledge for parents
  • - Co-organizer, Backpack drive for San Diego Global Vision Academy
  • - Research project: Special Education Knowledge for parents

“Being a first-generation student, I had quite an experience learning through trial and error. I took a gamble pursuing this degree knowing I was going to take another loan but to be seen and given this scholarship by The Conrad Prebys Foundation has given me relief to be able to focus on my education and leadership in multiple organizations.

I am extremely grateful to have had this scholarship opportunity and to have The Conrad Prebys Foundation believe in my dream in pursuing this degree for my special education students.”

Lara Talib

MS in School Psychology with PPSC - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - President, OMEGANU Student Organization
  • - Facilitator, Breaking Into STEM student panel
  • - Organizer, Student panels: World Refugee Day, Women’s History Month, Black History Celebration

“The Conrad Prebys Foundation scholarship changed my life! I don’t have to worry about the financial burden of school. I’ve been able to focus more on my studies and less about how I’m going to pay for all of this later. It’s given me a new love of education and really solidified my passions for me.

I’m going to be able to move forward in continuing my education and getting a doctorate, and that was something that I’d never imagined I’d be able to attain. I am also able to give back to my community through developing myself as a leader. I am the President of Omega NU, the NU leadership organization. I lead the team in organizing events that benefit the NU student body, such as Breaking Into STEM panels, Refugee Day panel, and many other activities.

Thank you to The Conrad Prebys Foundation for this opportunity!”

Stephanie Beck

Master of Science in School Psychology with PPSC - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Vice President (current), OMEGANU
  • - Organizer, Asian American Pacific Islander student activities
  • - Research project: Special Education Knowledge for parents

“The Conrad Prebys Foundation has impacted my life by giving me the opportunity for career development through a debt-free education, all of which has lessened my stress. When starting the program, I was an unsure and anxious new graduate student who was impacted financially by COVID-19.

Thanks to the generous contribution of The Conrad Prebys Foundation, I am able to focus more on learning how to help the future generation of students, rather than worrying about finances. I am also able to be the VP of Omega NU, our leadership student organization. I have organized an AAPI game night event and was featured on NU’s social media to tell my family’s story of being immigrants to the US. As a first-generation American, I will be a school psychologist that advocates for all students, including LGBTQ and culturally and linguistically diverse students.”

Shannon Dalton

Master of Education in Social Emotional Learning Program with a Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - President, Pride@NU
  • - Organizer, LGBTQIA and Black History Student Activities
  • - SafeZone trainer and facilitator, 25+ trained to be SafeZones allies

“The Conrad Prebys Foundation made it possible for me to go back to school and pursue the career I truly wanted. Making a career change from hospitality to education was a very scary feat, especially after already being in so much debt from my undergraduate program. However, The Conrad Prebys Foundation has allowed me to pursue a master’s degree to do what I have been called to do: teach students.

Through The Conrad Prebys Foundation grant, my leadership skills have grown exponentially through the NU Scholars Program. Going through the Effective Leadership Certificate of Completion has allowed me to reflect on the type of leader I am, and the steps that I need to take in order to grow into the one I want to be. Additionally, as the President of Pride @ NU, I have loved serving my community through SafeZones trainings, which educate people about how to be better allies to the LGBTQ community.”

Whisper Tennis

Master’s in Counseling with a Dual Emphasis of Marriage and Family Therapy and Clinical Counseling - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Member, OMEGANU
  • - Panelist, Parenting During the Time of COVID
  • - Panelist, Women’s History Month
  • - CARE/EOPS Holiday party organizer and volunteer

“I am so grateful for the support of The Conrad Prebys Foundation Grant. I remember thinking how can I go back to school when I’m barely surviving now? I was a brand-new mom, and my marriage was in a rocky spot. Life was hard, we were living paycheck-to-paycheck while I was at home with our baby. I always knew I wanted to get my master's degree and become a counselor, but the task seemed so unrealistic at the stage of life I was in.

That was until I heard about National University! I could finish my education at home with my son and only need to focus on one class at a time. So, I took a step of faith and enrolled into the Master of Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family counseling. I took my first three classes, time flew by and I was able to maintain a high GPA. I realized I can do this and ended up becoming a part of the NU Scholars. It was amazing to see the opportunities that arise through National for me just by taking that little step of faith. I felt like I became part of something bigger than just me. I was able to learn about leadership, giving back, safe zones, QPR and our community.

Then, when I went through the toughest moments of my life after my husband passed away, I was given a gift of community from National. My counseling cohort supported me in taking time to process and discuss the new challenges as a single mom, the scholars program supported me in friendship, growth and opportunity. I was able to finish my masters degree and get a counseling job the day my degree was posted.

I truly feel like I didn’t just receive a degree from National but I also developed a family and community that was there during my darkest hours and celebrated with me during my biggest victories.

Thank you to The Conrad Prebys Foundation for supporting me. I will be forever grateful.”

Cristyn Vure

Bachelor of Business Administration, Scholar of Stamina Designation - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - Holi festival volunteer
  • - Organizer, City of Escondido health fair
  • - Presenter: Grossmont College CARE/EOPS Program on going to school as a single mother and time management
  • - Participant: National Autism Research fundraiser

“My college experience began when I was 18. After meeting my ex-partner, my college pursuits ended, and I began a life as a stay-at-home mom. Despite asking to go back to college several times, I was told “it’s too expensive.” When my marriage ended, I found myself in the position of being a single mom to three kids, without a higher education, and lacking job experience. I needed to make enough money to support my family, but without a degree I found it impossible.

After struggling for a few years, I finally began pursuing my dream in the fall of 2018. I was petrified, but I was determined to put my full effort into obtaining a degree. After working hard at my full-time job, working hard as a mom, and working hard as a full-time student, I was getting close to maxing out my credit cards. Thankfully, I applied to and received admission into the NU Scholars Program, funded generously through The Conrad Prebys Foundation. I cried when I heard the news. With my credit running out it was doubtful I could have finished my degree without financial support. With the support of the program, I graduated summa cum laude with my BA in Business Administration in June of 2021.

The NU Scholars Program also selected me to be the Scholar of Stamina. This additional scholarship is allowing me to pursue my MBA - Center for Creative Leadership. My dream is to work in diversity and inclusion, developing leadership strategies and policies to support diversity initiatives and inclusion efforts in local government. With the addition of an MBA, my dream is coming close to becoming a reality.

As a quiet, shy, and insecure woman, I would often abstain from contributing to professional discussions. I felt too insignificant to make a difference. In my first few months of the Scholars Program, I gained insight to my leadership styles, developed a professional persona, and was instantly engaged in community service activities. I began work with other Scholars to support single working parents for Grossmont College CARE program. This work allowed me to provide students like me with helpful skills for obtaining a job, as well as experience in presenting in front of a group of people. I have gained the confidence to present in any professional setting and in any medium.

I am so grateful to The Conrad Prebys Foundation for your generous scholarship and to the NU Scholars Program. Thank you!”

Melissa “Missy” Waters

Master of Science, Educational Counseling with PPSC Credential - San Diego

Community Service:

  • - SafeZones facilitator—trained over 35+ students, faculty, and staff
  • - Member, Pride@NU
  • - Participant, Celebrating Families event
  • - Facilitator, Public Health Week SafeZones training
  • - Volunteer, San Diego Humane Society

“I will forever be grateful to The Conrad Prebys Foundation. Going back to school as a full-time working adult with little to no savings or money and two anxiety disorders is very daunting but thanks to National University, NU scholars and the Conrad Prebys Foundation I was able to pursue my dream of becoming a school counselor while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and I felt supported the whole time.

I am now a few weeks into the school year and my first year as a k-8 school counselor. It feels amazing to do what I love while having an impact on my students. The best part is I get to bring my rescue dog who was shot in Mexico and now has to wear diapers. He provides emotional support to my students and shows them that they are not their future. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you Conrad Prebys Foundation.”