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Social work student finds powerful affirmation in her scholarship amidst challenging times

Overcoming homelessness and becoming a single mom to her daughter are just two obstacles Van Vox (B.S.’11/H&S) has faced in her life so far, but nothing has made her lose faith in her ability to overcome hardship.

“I always knew I had a choice to move forward or get stuck,” she says.

Looking to her future, Vox enrolled in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work to pursue a master’s degree and embraced a new set of challenges. She struggled to make ends meet while focusing on her coursework until she received the Hurtado Family Endowed Scholarship.

“It’s not easy to do a grad program, period,” she says. “Having to work full time and raise a child on top of that has been quite a challenge, but my scholarship is helping me hang in there. It does something for your spirit to have someone believe in you so much that they financially invest in you. That vote of confidence was not something I had anticipated – it was one hell of an affirmation.”

In the future, Vox plans to focus on domestic violence intervention and open her own outreach center. Right now, she’s finding satisfaction closer to home.

“I get to show my kid what it means to live your potential,” she says. “That’s what I’m most proud of.”