UC donors made attending college possible for first-generation student

Our scholarships change lives 

To appreciate the impact a scholarship can have, consider Jordan Braswell’s first few years at UC.

“Neither of my parents completed college, so this was a big step for me,” recalls Jordan, CECH ’22. “I’m the first person in my family who was really determined to complete college — and I’m so close. I’m going to do it! My family, as supportive they are, they don’t have the money to financially support me. So I was working between 44 and 50 hours a week in addition to my full-time class load.”

Neither of my parents completed college, so this was a big step for me.

Jordan Braswell

Jordan subsequently applied for and earned three scholarships which reduced the financial burden she was shouldering, enabling her to focus on school and make new friends.

“My scholarships have really improved my UC experience by allowing me to have time for life as a typical college student,” she says.

She will be forever grateful to the donors who have helped fund her scholarships. “I don’t know if I have the words to express what my scholarships mean to me,” she says. “I do like working hard, but I couldn’t balance my school work when I had to focus on working the first couple of years I was in college. It really brings me joy that I’m able to experience college and commit my full energy to learning and becoming the best teacher I can be. It has meant the world to me.” 

Jordan, who grew up in a northern Cincinnati suburb, initially wanted to go away to college. But she changed her mind after visiting UC’s campus, which she had never seen before. “The campus is really beautiful and has a really cool mix of older and newer architectural styles,” she says. “I liked seeing the different varieties, seeing a little bit of history, because I’m interested in history.”

Making meaningful connections at UC and beyond 

Aspiring to become a teacher, Jordan was also drawn to the experiential learning opportunities offered in early childhood education. In her very first semester at UC, she was immersed in the classroom at Arlitt Child Development Center.

“Getting hands-on experience to become the most competitive and competent teacher candidate I could be was really important to me,” she says. “All of my professors have cared so much about allowing me to go into the classroom and see what it’s like to be a teacher and learn if it’s the right fit for me. I like the feeling that I am learning new things, doing something relevant that is good for the community, too.”

At CECH, she has made numerous friends, both in and outside her major. “I’ve never met a frowning face at CECH,” she says. “Everyone is so kind. CECH is highly dedicated to gender and race equity and inclusion, which is very close to my heart. I have been made to feel happy and accepted and like I belong.”

Jordan hopes that within the next five years she is teaching in a Cincinnati Public School and has earned, or is on her way to earning, her master’s degree.

If you would like to support Jordan and other students like her, please visit the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services giving website.

Headshot of Jamie Muenzer, DAAP '11

Jamie Muenzer, DAAP '11

Director of Annual Giving