Making a plan

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Mikelle BenderMikelle Bender, 19, heard about SLCC Promise last summer while inquiring at the SLCC Financial Aid offices, seeking to learn about available scholarships and grants.

She doesn’t make a lot of money working as a group mentor with teenage girls battling addiction and abuse, so SLCC Promise lifted a financial burden.

“For me, it really helped pay what my financial aid didn’t cover,” Bender says. “This is honestly such an awesome opportunity for students."

The Bountiful resident, who once dreamed of being a writer or teacher, met the requirements of SLCC Promise, and an advisor helped her create an academic plan. “The advisors were able to make sure I had the correct courses that I needed all planned out,” she says. “I was always taught that it is important to go into things prepared and with a plan, and I think SLCC Promise kind of reinforces that.”

She enrolled at SLCC as a full-time student and received a Pell grant and Promise funds. “It’s hard when your family situation isn’t one where you have a lot of financial support, due to other family expenses and circumstances,” she says, “so, having something like this available, with reasonable terms and conditions, was such a blessing.”

Bender plans to earn an associate’s degree at SLCC, transfer into the Social Work program at the University of Utah for a bachelor’s degree, and pursue a master’s and possibly a doctorate.

“SLCC Promise has definitely benefited my family so much,” she says. “Even though I work practically full time during fall and spring semesters, and then full time during summer, it’s hard to be able to save up enough money to pay for school when you have other responsibilities and expenses on your plate.”