Bethany Watkins knows firsthand how getting a scholarship can help make someone’s educational dreams come true. That’s how it happened for her when she decided to pursue an associate’s degree after she completed high school, entered the workforce, and started her family. And that’s what attracted her to her first job after she graduated from Gateway Community College—program officer at the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven. She spent three years there aiding others to secure the financial assistance they needed to attend college by helping distribute over $500,000 in scholarships.
While she has since moved on, she remains connected to helping students secure financial aid by serving on Gateway Community College Foundation’s Scholarship Committee. She even went on to pursue a four-year degree. While her mother always encouraged her, she was particularly inspired by three Gateway professors—each in different subjects—who instilled in her the importance of learning and the beauty of having passion for both education and humanity. “I came to believe it was ‘cool’ to be back in school,” she explains. “Everyone was down to earth, and I loved the person education was allowing me to become.”
“I came to believe it was cool to be back in school. Everyone was down to earth, and I loved the person education was allowing me to become.”Bethany Watkins
Watkins truly embraces her work on the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee. “Because of my own experiences—both personal and professional—I’m able to provide insight into the challenges many people face in pursuing their educational dreams. In a way, I’m ‘paying it forward’ by helping students who deserve the education that Gateway can provide.”