Allison Mattera, 18, of Huntingtown crams more into her day than most. She is a full-time student at the College of Southern Maryland (CSM), where she is studying criminal justice. Mattera also is a member of the college’s cross-country team and keeps up with two part-time jobs.
One reason for this packed schedule is Mattera’s desire to avoid debt as she pursues her education. Mattera is the older of two children in her family and a first-generation college student.
Scholarships are a big help, she said. Mattera was awarded four scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year — the CSM Prince Frederick Campus Student Association Scholarship, Florence B. Trueman Scholarship, Hempstead Family Scholarship and the John and Mary Anne Harms Endowed Scholarship.
“I’m very lucky. I’m very thankful,” she said.
Mattera served as the student speaker at the annual CSM Foundation Scholarship Reception held Oct. 27 at the college’s La Plata Campus. The annual event was an opportunity for close to 330 scholarship recipients to meet and thank donors. To view Mattera’s speech, visit https://youtu.be/NERDt6iJmE0.
“Standing here on behalf of my fellow scholarship recipients is such an honor to let you know just how deeply grateful we are, for not only your confidence in us but also for your financial support and encouragement,” Mattera said in her address. “I know that for me personally, being honored with support through the Prince Frederick Campus Student Association, Florence B. Trueman, the Hempstead Family and John and Mary Anne Harms scholarships means the difference between me going to college or not, and I can chase my career dreams knowing that there are people beyond my parents, family and friends who have placed their trust and belief in me and my abilities to achieve my goals.
“I’m working two part-time jobs, which, coupled with these scholarships, makes it possible for me to earn my degree and be debt-free,” she said.
Chair of the CSM Foundation Nancy Hempstead, is a donor to one of the scholarships Mattera was awarded this fall, the Hempstead Family Scholarship. Like Mattera, Hempstead was one of the speakers at the Oct. 27 reception, where Hempstead had the opportunity to comment about the motivation behind scholarship donations.
“Providing scholarships is not about paying for courses, it is about investing in you and hoping that you use these opportunities wisely to have a profound impact on tomorrow and on our community’s future,” Hempstead said to the reception attendees. “Investing today. Transforming tomorrow.”
To save money and to get a jump-start on college, Mattera started taking CSM courses while still a high school student at Huntingtown High School. She took English 1010 and Algebra 3 and also took a College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test to earn credit. She graduated a straight-A student in the spring of 2017 with 15 college credits. “I worked extremely hard in high school,” she said. “I looked to take the smartest path into college.
Mattera’s career goal is to work as a criminal investigator. “It’s just something about making things right,” she said. “They’re doing like this hero job.”
For information on scholarships at CSM, visit http://foundation.csmd.edu. For information on dual enrollment programs available to high school students, visit www.csmd.edu/dualenrollment. For information on CSM’s participation in the 24-hour online giving event, #GivingTuesday, on November 28 to benefit scholarships, visit http://Foundation.csmd.edu/GivingTuesday.
CSM Foundation Giving Tuesday. Nov. 28. The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Foundation will join colleges and nonprofits around the world to celebrate generosity by participating in Giving Tuesday, a 24-hour online giving event. Make an impact in the community by donating to CSM scholarships and programs. Gifts of every size will help transform lives. You may choose to double your impact by donating to a matching fund. For more information or to donate on Nov. 28, visit http://Foundation.csmd.edu/GivingTuesday.