When she graduated from New Hampshire’s Dover High School in 2019, Makayla Edgecomb ’23 knew she wanted to go to UNH. Her mother, Laurie, had started out at UNH, but had a life detour and wasn’t able to finish as planned. Now working in the Dover public schools, Laurie Edgecomb believes in attending college right after high school.
“It’s important to me that she gets those opportunities and gets the chance to make a difference for herself. It’s important to have goals, and guidance, from the beginning. Having that degree is going to make a difference to where she can go in her future,” the elder Edgecomb says.
Each scholarship covers the full cost of a student’s tuition, room and board, fees and other expenses for the remaining three years of their undergraduate careers at UNH.
While Edgecomb was navigating freshman year and finding her passion for community and environmental planning in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, Granite State Development Corporation was working on plans of its own. According to company president Scott Gardiner ’88G, proud parent of two Wildcats, the organization “wanted to do something significant” to help students at UNH, establishing the Granite State Development Corporation Scholars program for rising sophomores.
Each scholarship covers the full cost of a student’s tuition, room and board, fees and other expenses for the remaining three years of their undergraduate careers at UNH. The inaugural award was slated to go to a deserving student whose major aligns with the values of GSDC’s work in economic development — someone pursing the very major Edgecomb had just discovered. When it came time for the university to award the scholarship, COLSA faculty made the case to invest in Edgecomb.
In June, as her family awaited word on the scholarship and what a return to campus might look like amid the coronavirus pandemic, COLSA lecturer and community and environmental planning program coordinator Mary Friedman was tasked with giving Edgecomb the very good news: she had been selected as the first recipient. As long as she continues in her major and keeps her grades up, the scholarship will renew each semester for the next three years.
“The most important criteria for this scholarship was being passionate, and hardworking… it is meant for students who are motivated, and thinking about the future,” Friedman says. “Makayla’s name came to the top of the list: GPA, passion, motivated. I think she’s a great student, and I’ve loved working with her.”
Click here to watch the Edgecombs learn that Makayla would be this year’s scholarship recipient.
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