Husky Giving Day: Big Hearts, Bigger Impact 

On April 4, the UW Bothell community drives impact together to support students. Here, two students and an alumnus share their transformational educational journeys.

Update: What an incredible Husky Giving Day! On April 4, you let your heart have a big impact to make Husky Giving Day 2024 a success. As we tally donations and dive into the heartwarming stories shared on social media, we’re excited to share we are nearing $100,000 dollars raised.  Whether you made a gift or shared your story, we felt the support for our community.  We are so grateful for your participation and for the support you’ve shown UW Bothell students. Thank you!

Every student goes through changes during college. Over these few years, they learn new knowledge and skills, gain confidence and explore directions for their future. They discover what matters to them and grow by overcoming challenges. 

For students at UW Bothell, this journey from orientation to graduation is not a solo endeavor. Whether from the guidance of advisers and professors, the encouragement and feedback of peers or the financial assistance of scholarships, they graduate with the support of a caring campus community that believes in the power of education to transform lives. 

On Husky Giving Day, you are invited to join the University of Washington Bothell community in driving impact together by giving toward the scholarships and programs that make these transformational journeys possible. 

Below, you can learn about some of those journeys; on April 4 you can help future students begin theirs. 

Becoming financially independent 

Maliya Jackson started at UW Bothell in the early days of the COVID pandemic. One of the biggest challenges for Jackson, now a senior majoring in Educational Studies, has been managing her finances while growing in independence. 

A person.
Maliya Jackson, senior, Educational Studies.

Jackson has self-supported her education through scholarships, savings and working part-time jobs. And she’s proud of the way she’s managed her money to pay for her groceries and her residence hall. 

She is also proud to be a first-generation student and acknowledges it has been tough to overcome some of the expectations working against her. She worked hard throughout high school to apply for as many scholarships as possible so she could attend college.  

Without scholarships, Jackson said she wouldn’t be studying at UW Bothell — let alone planning to graduate debt-free in June 

“It’d be more stressful,” she said. “I think I’d be working more jobs. I think I’d be sitting here trying to figure out how to make ends meet, but they’ve helped me so much.” 

One of the scholarships Jackson received is the Beulah Shaw-Walker and Lula Hines-Jiggitts Endowed Fund for Education. Created to support students throughout their college journeys, the fund is named in honor of two women who were dedicated to increasing access to education for people of people of color. 

Growing into one’s own

Throughout her time at university, Jackson has watched herself transform. “I’ve built so much character,” she said. “I’ve been looking back at all of my projects and research. Everything just seems so different from when I started. 

“I’ve grown into the person I want to be. I’m standing up for the things I want. I’m starting to speak my choices and think, ‘This is how I feel and no one can tell me differently because this is my life.’” 

Jackson said her best memories are of the relationships she’s developed. 

“I really took my time to meet my professors and my academic advisers — Amy Cuoto and Cristal Peña,” she said. “They are literally queens in my eyes. They have helped me so much, and they have let me know that how I feel is human. 

“All of the professors I’ve had have made an impact,” she added, “not only on my academic success but my life in general. They’ve made me realize that there are small things in life that can make you happy.” 

 I’ve grown into the person I want to be. I’m standing up for the things I want. I’m starting to speak my choices.  

Maliya Jackson, senior, Educational Studies

Changing by helping others

As a peer consultant in the Writing & Communication Center, junior Erika Cho has discovered that helping others has added meaning to her college experience. 

During a core class in the first quarter of her first year, Cho wrote a paper on William Shakespeare. Impressed by her writing skills, her professor told her she would be a good fit for a paid role in the writing center. Without that encouragement, Cho isn’t sure she would have applied. She said, “I’m the type to think about it, stew over it and then get too scared to do it.” 

A person.
Erika Cho, junior, Business Administration. 

There were early challenges in the role. She was surrounded by a group of seniors who had been working with each other for nearly four years. She had to push herself to get out of her shell. She also met with many different students with a variety of experiences. 

“I could have an appointment on a light-hearted topic that went really well,” she said. “Then the next one could be on a paper that’s really heavy.” 

The conversations made her reflect on her own life and helped her to build her own coaching style. “I’ve talked to so many people who have profoundly impacted me at my job,” she said. 

Sometimes now, when students come into the writing center, they think she’s a teacher, but she reassures them that she’s a student just like they are. 

Realizing one’s impact 

This year, Cho, a major in Business Administration, received a scholarship from the Business Excellence Fund. The fund supports students who exhibit the values of excellence and integrity central to the School of Business and helps them develop skills and become principled leaders. 

Cho has received heartfelt feedback as a leader. One experience she’s especially proud of was the opportunity to be a guest speaker and writing tutor for a class. Afterward, one of the groups took the time to thank her. 

“It was just very meaningful to see that my input had meaning to these fellow students who are at the same level as I am,” she said. “The fact that they value what I give and the work that I do, that’s my biggest achievement so far.” 

Through her work as a peer consultant, Cho has started to feel more secure in who she is. When she first arrived at UW Bothell, she said, “I felt like a little high schooler, just showing up to somewhere, who didn’t really know what to do. Now, I think I’ve gotten a lot braver.” 

At times, when Cho steps back and takes a deep breath, she thinks, “Okay, I am in the right place. I am where I need to be, where I should be, where I’m meant to be.” 

And that is change from when she started college, she said, “because before I didn’t even know where I should be.” 

Two people holding balloons.
Brandon Mayfield, Policy Studies ’10, and Daniel Baird, Business Administration ’23, appear in the Husky Giving Day video.

Figuring out the future

These transformational journeys for students aren’t short-lived. Experiences during college can have a major influence on the direction of an alumnus’ life and career, as Brandon Mayfield (Master of Arts in Policy Studies ’10) learned. 

When the Career Services team visited one of Mayfield’s classes, he saw an opportunity to expand his job search skills. For more than a year, he took part in coaching and career counseling sessions, which led him to 30 informational interviews. 

It was Career Services, which is supported by donations to the Career Services Excellence Fund, that “gave me the confidence to do all those interviews.” 

Mayfield was interested in education and philanthropy, and one of the organizations that kept coming up in his searches was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With help from staff in Career Services, he focused his materials and energy toward getting an interview with the foundation. 

His commitment paid off. After graduation he was offered a job at the foundation and has been there ever since, now working in the Grants and Contracts Services division. 

“It’s a testament to the quality and skills [of Career Services staff] that they can help students who come to them from a variety of backgrounds — those who know exactly where they want to go like I did and those who don’t — and be able to manage those differences and direct students well.” 

Giving back to new students

Through his major, Mayfield built a lasting connection to UW Bothell. He enjoyed the small class sizes and felt his experience was “personalized in a way that I had never felt before.” 

The service-learning module of the MAPS program was especially transformational, he said. “We were immersed in a variety of organizations and engaging with a diversity of people. I really felt like I was tied into a community.” 

Once he graduated, these connections made it easy for Mayfield to say yes to opportunities to continue engaging with UW Bothell. One way he gives back is by talking with students about his career and encouraging them to reach out to Career Services as he did. He wants first-generation students especially to get the kind of support that helped him. 

Mayfield’s latest contribution was appearing in a video promoting Husky Giving Day. During the filming, he was reminded of another reason he is happy to still be part of the UW Bothell community: “The events are fun and engaging.” 

On Husky Giving Day, join the UW Bothell community to support the transformational journeys that our students go through during college. Your big heart can have a bigger impact when you donate to support students from orientation to graduation. 

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