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Keely Brewer | PROMISE

Although she received a merit-based scholarship through UA, Brewer was determined to further lighten the financial burden on her family.

Determined to expand her worldview, sophomore Keely Brewer, from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, knew she wanted to attend The University of Alabama after touring the campus with a friend. Though everyone in her family stayed in her hometown for college, she is now excelling during her time as a news media major in UA’s College of Communication & Information Sciences.

While merit-based scholarships covered most of Keely’s costs, leftover expenses created financial stress for her family.

Keely Brewer

“One of the only reasons an education at UA was an option is because of the scholarships,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been able to go out-of-state if it weren’t for those. I applied to as many external scholarships as I could.”

Through these efforts, Keely was awarded the Carmage and Martha Ann Walls Endowed Scholarship, which helped cover the cost of books and living expenses.

Now, Keely’s main motivation is her affinity for her program in the Department of Journalism and Creative Media.

“My professors do a great job of bringing in so many people from the field to talk to us,” she said. “We hear from editors of local papers from small cities in Alabama. Just seeing the work they’re doing at a local level, I was really glad to have that opportunity and be connected to other small towns around Tuscaloosa to see the benefit of journalism in those areas.”

Having overcome the challenge of how to pay for books and rent, Keely is focusing her sights on her future. Following her anticipated 2022 graduation, she plans to stay in the South working as a print journalist.

“I really want to be a reporter,” Keely said. “I was hoping to go to some big, national outlet, but I’m really glad I stayed in the South for college rather than trying to go as far away as possible like I initially wanted to do.” Through The Rising Tide, we will further our promise to students by adding 1,000 new endowed scholarships and fellowships and more than $1 million annually for our students, creating a stronger, more diverse alumni base.

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