July 23, 2024

July 2024 Scholarship Roundup

Heather Escalante
Heather Escalante of San Marcos, Texas, has been awarded the Criminal Justice Scholarship. She is a first-generation college student and the first in her family to obtain a high school diploma. Her dream is to work in the criminal justice field and one day earn her Ph.D.

“I moved to Texas and went to Job Corps and enrolled into an Academy for Corrections,” she said. “That was the start of my love for criminal justice and wanting to be a part of the justice and not the crime. I needed to be taught something different to see beyond those neighborhood streets I was never able to get far away from before. New possibilities arose and I got a high school diploma, and new dreams came alive.”

With this scholarship, she plans to pursue an associate degree in criminal justice administration.

“My dream is to protect the vulnerable but also find solutions and create new processes and rehabilitation to those areas that breach harm to society,” she said. “To hold those accountable who break laws and to learn where criminals develop and if they can be changed or stopped. That is my mission, to protect people from harm and to also learn about criminal behavior.”

Julia Mendoza
Julia Mendoza of Paso Robles, California, has been awarded the CSU Safety Scholarship. With this scholarship, she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health.

“This scholarship would have a major positive impact on my education as it would allow me to attend school,” she said. “It would help me focus on my academic goals while not sacrificing my family’s needs.”

In her own academic journey, Mendoza is looking to educate and influence the people she serves towards a safe working environment and safer behaviors.

“My personal goals would include to inspire women, especially women belonging to minorities, to pursue their passions. It is my goal to help my parents retire and to become a strong pillar of support for my family.”

Staci Vanderpool
Staci Vanderpool is the recipient of the 2024 National Guard Association of Michigan Family First
Currently, she is a stay-at-home mom to her three sons and supports her husband in his
active-duty military career.

“As much as I’ve cherished these years, I am looking forward to what the future holds for me as an individual and seeing my goals enrich the lives of my family as well,” she said. “This scholarship would allow me to finish my pursuit of a bachelor’s degree that I began in 2006. I would love the opportunity to be an example to my three sons, showing them that education is important and that it is never too late to accomplish your goals.”

With this scholarship, she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in human resource management.

“I believe a well-run HR program enriches the lives of the employees of any organization, making sure all employees are treated with respect and kindness.”

For more information about Columbia Southern University’s scholarships, visit

Disclaimer: These testimonials may not reflect the experience of all CSU students.
Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes.
CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.