Born and raised in the Philippines, Hazel Ann is a first-generation college graduate who had to overcome many financial barriers to earn her degree. To help pay for tuition, she worked as a nanny for a family in return for housing, while also working 32 hours a week at other jobs. This busy schedule left Hazel Ann limited time to study, yet despite being stretched so thin she still excelled at school. When she was awarded with a Western Union scholarship, the funding helped alleviate much of her financial burden.
“I will be forever grateful that the Western Union Foundation selected me for this scholarship because it helped me finish my degree,” shared Hazel Ann. “I also managed to save up funds so that my mom could travel here and attend my graduation ceremony. I never imagined that would be possible.”
The importance of education was instilled in Hazel Ann at an early age. “Attending college means a lot to me and my family. I am proud to dedicate this achievement to my father, who passed away 6 years before I finished high school,” said Hazel Ann. “He always reminded me that no matter how hard life is, I should do my best to finish school and start a career.”
“As I grow older, I have realized that education is one of the keys to having a brighter future. I know graduating is not the end of my journey and I’m excited for what’s next. This scholarship from Western Union was a great opportunity that I will treasure for the rest of my life.”