INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sallie Mae, the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company, announced it will award a $25,000 college scholarship to an Indiana high school student as part of the company’s Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program. The scholarship honors the legacy of former Sallie Mae executive Charlie Rocha. Sallie Mae leadership, employees, and educator-turned-hip-hop artist Dee-1 made the announcement on Sunday at the company’s second annual 5K race in Fort Harrison State Park to support the scholarship program.
Sallie Mae’s Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program recognizes inspiring high school juniors and seniors who excel in academics, athletics, community service, or school activities, but whose financial circumstances may not permit them to fulfill their college dreams. Over the past two years, Sallie Mae has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students through the program.
Thanks to a generous contribution by the Rocha family to the Bridging the Dream Scholarship Fund and the company’s commitment to match that donation, Sallie Mae will now offer seven $25,000 Bridging the Dream Scholarships, up from five in 2017. One Bridging the Dream Scholarship will be awarded to a student in Indiana, home to the company’s second largest office. Beginning Aug. 23, high school counselors and community leaders may nominate deserving students.
“Charlie’s creativity, energy, and drive, his ability to connect and inspire all of those around him, and his commitment to helping young people reach college will live on through the Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program,” said Raymond J. Quinlan, Chairman and CEO, Sallie Mae. “It’s particularly gratifying to award a scholarship to a student from Indiana, home to so many of our employees who work every day to support programs like this one, and help our young people create the lives they imagine.”
Former educator-turned-hip-hop-artist and Sallie Mae partner Dee-1 kicked off the 5K race and treated more than 250 employees, their family, and friends to an impromptu performance of his hit single, “Sallie Mae Back.” He also reflected on Mr. Rocha, with whom he collaborated on a number of financial literacy and student loan repayment campaigns over the last two years.
“As a father to four daughters, Charlie understood what families go through to save, plan, and pay for college and that fueled his passion and creation of the Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program,” said Dee-1. “That same passion fuels my work and inspires my music. So, it was important for me to be here to help honor Charlie’s legacy and support the Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program — which will put the dream of a higher education within reach for a deserving student. That’s great news for Indiana.”
For more information, or to nominate an Indiana student, visit. SallieMae.com/BridgingTheDream.
Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: SLM) is the nation’s 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, Upromise rewards, scholarship search, 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.