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Jasmine Lagunas

Jasmine Lagunas, Nursing

Jasmine Lagunas has loved caring for others since she was a certified nursing assistant in high school. Ever since, she has imagined herself working in healthcare, although she says at times it has seemed like “a far-fetched dream.”

To become a nurse, “Weber State was where I had to go,” she said. She moved from Logan, Utah, to study at WSU’s Annie Taylor Dee School of Nursing. But in 2022, she was questioning whether she could finish school. “I had no idea how I would continue to pay for my education and had even considered taking a semester off,” she said. 

She reached out to professors and advisors, who led her to the ’CATapult Scholarship. “Hearing that I had been awarded the scholarship was so relieving,” Lagunas said. “It really motivated me to keep going.”

In 2023, Lagunas passed the National Council Licensure Examination, an exam taken after completing a nursing program and required to obtain a license to practice. She enrolled in WSU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program to take her education even further.

“Weber State has endless opportunities because of all the programs they have to offer and teachers that genuinely care about your success,” she said. “While challenging times may arise, achieving dreams is never impossible.”

Tammy McCray

Tammy McCray, Communication

Tammy McCray had one goal: to graduate with her degree before she turned 60.
As a recipient of the ’CATapult Scholarship, the 59-year-old was able to do that in December 2020 with a degree in communication with an emphasis in public relations and advertising. Eventually, she hopes to use her education to promote her own photography business.

Without the scholarship, McCray wouldn’t have had the financial means to finish her degree during the fall semester. She knew it would have been twice as hard to return to school if she took time off to save, and she didn’t see getting a loan as an option.

McCray’s advisor suggested she look at scholarships to get through her final semester, which resulted in her finding ’CATapult.

McCray said students should believe in their dreams no matter what, and never give up.
“This has been on my bucket list,” she said.

Serge Twagirayezu

Serge Twagirayezu, Mechanical Engineering Technology

Shortly before Serge Twagirayezu’s scheduled graduation, the COVID-19 pandemic halted his paid internship, and he also lost access to a crucial source of private funding. “At that point, I wasn’t sure I would ever earn a degree,” he said. “I had worked so hard, but I didn’t have any way to pay for the rest of my education.” 

Luckily, Twagirayezu’s classmate, who worked in WSU’s financial aid office, suggested he apply for a ’CATapult Scholarship. It proved to be the perfect backup plan. 

“The scholarship really catapulted me to the finish line, and I was able to graduate,” said Twagirayezu, who joined the engineering team at Cirque in Sandy, Utah. “I’d like to thank everyone at Weber who made that scholarship happen — donors, professors, staff — because they’re the people who really changed the world for me.”