Utah High School Student Surprised with $25,000 Scholarship from Sallie Mae

Thanh Le, a senior at Taylorsville High School, was surprised with a $25,000 Bridging the Dream Scholarship from Sallie Mae, the nations saving, planning, and paying for college company. Le was greeted by Sallie Mae representatives during his statistics class. Taylorsville High School principal Emily Liddell, school counselor Claire Dukatz, who nominated him for the scholarship, and Les father were also on hand for the announcement.

Le is one of seven $25,000 Sallie Mae Bridging the Dream Scholarship recipients nationwide. The scholarship recognizes high school juniors and seniors who excel in academics, athletics, community service, or school activities, but may face personal or financial challenges when looking to fulfill their college dreams. Since 2016, Sallie Mae has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students through the Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program. This year, $175,000 will be awarded, including more than $40,000 raised directly by employees.

After experiencing a series of personal challenges, including the loss of his mother, Le has juggled multiple jobs to support himself financially. He doesnt let this get in the way of excelling both in academics and extracurriculars he serves as a senior class senator, is a member of the cross country and track teams, and has been practicing martial arts since he was nine; Le shares his passion by teaching kids at a local studio. Le provides tutoring to students, and is a member of both the Key Club and National Honor Society.

My mom taught me how to be kind and give back to others, so Im really focused on volunteering and helping others throughout the community, said Le. Knowing I have this $25,000 scholarship from Sallie Mae allows me to continue my focus on helping others, instead of worrying about what steps to take to pay for college.


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Thanh is the epitome of a well-rounded student, succeeding academically and in his community work, despite significant setbacks personally that might hinder a students ability to thrive, said Dukatz. He is a constant source of light at our school, and its so heartwarming to know that Sallie Mae recognizes and supports the daily hard work Thanh exhibits in order to achieve his dreams.

Students like Thanh are the reason the Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program is so successful, said Shawn Murphy, director, Sallie Mae. He is the perfect example of a person who has overcome adversity and thrived, paving the way for others to succeed, too. Were honored to meet Thanh and be a part of his journey forward, helping him make college happen and create the life hes imagined.

For more information about Sallie Maes Bridging the Dream Scholarships, visit SallieMae.com/BridgingTheDream, or join the conversation by using #BridgingTheDream.

For more information about saving, planning, and paying for college, visit SallieMae.com.

Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: SLM) is the nations saving, planning, and paying for college company. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae offers products that promote responsible personal finance, including private education loans, free scholarship search tools, free college financial planning tools, and online retail banking. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

Antoine Oakley
(302) 451-4916
(302) 509-9464 (cell)
[email protected]