Receiving the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship during my first year at Winona State University was a life-changing experience that had a profound impact on my academic and professional journey.

As a student majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS), the scholarship was not just financial support. It opened doors to new opportunities and experiences, by also including a rotational internship.

Building Skills Through Networking

During my first year, I had the opportunity to intern with Jon Olson, the Vice President of Advancement and Communications, who was also a key supporter of establishing the scholarship.

I was greeted with open arms and had the opportunity to meet with the WSU Foundation and Advancement staff members who work tirelessly to raise funds for the University to support its mission.

Through this internship, I gained practical experience in communication and administration and insights into the workings of the University’s leadership. The experience gave me a greater appreciation for the passion and dedication that goes into making WSU the excellent institution it is.

The internship also led to my being offered a job as an accounting assistant with the Foundation, where I gained hands-on experience managing finances and accounting systems. I learned to track and manage budgets, process invoices, and create financial reports.

Apart from the accounting position, I also had the opportunity to work as part of the university’s social media team through the Marketing and Communication Department, where I’ve developed skills in communication, marketing, and content creation.

This experience helped me develop my creative side and taught me how to engage with different audiences on various social media platforms.

What is the George Floyd Scholarship?

Created in 2020, the George Floyd Scholarship uplifts students of color with $1,000 a year and an internship with university leaders, including the university president.

The internship experience empowers students with resources and connections to grow relationships and help them aspire to leadership positions.

The scholarship is $20,000 away from a fully funded endowment, which would allow it to be ongoing for decades to come.

As I progressed through the different stages of my academic journey, the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship has continued to support me as a student of color with a keen interest in inclusion, diversity, and equity at WSU.

Getting Support and Guidance

Being awarded the scholarship has given me confidence, motivation, and ambition to pursue my goals and positively impact the world.

Before receiving the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship, I was still determining my future career path and what major to pursue.

I was fortunate enough to have Dr. Jonathan Locust Jr., the Associate Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity and a key figure in establishing the scholarship at WSU, introduce me to a great professor in the MIS department.

Through that connection, I’ve gotten to explore the field and discover my passion for the vast world of Information Technology. It inspired me to pursue a career in this dynamic and exciting industry.

Looking ahead, I am excited to continue with the rotational internship program during my third and fourth years at WSU.

Through these experiences, I have developed a strong sense of belonging, inspiration, and community, along with purpose and determination to achieve my goals and effect meaningful change.

I am grateful for the support and commitment of the WSU community to creating a more inclusive and equitable future for all and am eager to maximize the potential of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Ibraahiim Roble '24

Management Information Systems student, Winona State University