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June 2, 2021

Northeast Spotlight

WGU Northeast Employees Give to Support Our Students

Jenn Cooper, Northeast Regional Director of Advancement, shares inspirational stories about WGU Northeast Night Owls giving back.

WGU Employees Care

At WGU, we are fortunate to be a part of a unique community that cares about each other and the students we serve. More than 65% of our students come from populations historically under-represented by higher education and many require financial support to achieve their dreams of a college degree. 

As a way to help reduce economic hardships for our students, many colleagues donate to our need-based scholarships, like the WGU Employees Give Back Scholarship and our Student Emergency Aid Fund. In fact, 74% of all charitable gifts received by WGU Advancement in 2020 came from WGU employees!

Phil Tarantino and his wife Phil Tarantino and his wife

Stories Inspire

I had the pleasure of talking to several of our Northeast colleagues to learn more about what inspires them to donate to WGU’s need based scholarships. Phil Tarantino, a College of Health Professions instructor in New York, said his personal experiences shaped his outlook on giving back:

“I grew up a son of a high school graduate mother and an 8th-grade educated father. Love was abundant, money was not. Both of my parents instilled in me the need for education, hard work and to care about people.  

"I feel that WGU has excellent systems in place that support individual students’ needs. This past year has illustrated emotional, financial and physical vulnerability. My wife and I donate so that we may support individuals at the time they need it.”     

Compassionate Help

Penny Crittenden, a program mentor in Maryland, shares Phil’s compassionate outlook. Penny’s experience with a loved one’s health challenge inspires her to help others. 

“I worked on my degree while at the bedside of my son who was very sick, so I know the struggles many students experience. I give because I want to make the road easier for struggling students. I want to help them reach the milestones they are working so hard to achieve.”

Penny Crittenden and her son Penny Crittenden and her son

Thank You

Thank you, Northeast colleagues, for all you do every day to help WGU students. Your words of support and generous acts of kindness will inspire our students to help others tomorrow. 

To find out more about how you can support WGU students in the northeast, email Jenn. WGU employees can donate via the Intranet.

Make a Difference

Anyone can donate to help WGU students reach their academic goals.

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