Of all the colleges Adza Beda applied to, Buffalo State was the only one that provided full tuition coverage, thanks to a number of scholarships she received to pair with a federal Pell Grant. The Buffalo native and Muriel A. Howard Honors Program student received scholarships from the McNair Scholars Program, the Buffalo Federal Women’s Club, and the Statler Foundation.
“I’m so grateful” said Beda. “I will be able to finish college in four years with very little debt.”
The junior with the powerful smile is on target to graduate in spring 2014. At that time, she plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in documentary filmmaking. She also hopes to write articles for National Geographic Magazine.
Beda arrived at Buffalo State in the summer of 2010 as a pre-freshman in the Hospitality and Tourism Department with dreams of becoming a chef. The staff at the Student Support Services Program helped her set goals for her college career, one of which was to earn a 4.0 grade point average, which she achieved her first two semesters.
After taking a wide range of courses, she changed majors several times before falling in love with documentary filmmaking through the Communication Department. And she is tenaciously ensuring she still graduates on time by taking at least five courses each semester. During some of those semesters, she also has held part-time jobs, such as an AmeriCorps position working with at-risk youth in a West Side community center.
While living at home with her family, Beda has still managed to stay involved on campus through the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and by participating in campus events such as karaoke nights and camping trips.
Beda described her time at Buffalo State as “a maturing process that has prepared me to move forward in life and graduate school.”
Without the scholarships, she knows she either wouldn’t have been able to attend college or it would have taken her much longer to complete her degree.
“I appreciate everyone who contributes to the scholarship funds,” she said. “They may not know it, but they make a difference.”