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Independence County resident and aspiring teacher surprised with “Sage Scholarship” from WGU

$2,500 scholarship available to newly enrolled students earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree

Aug 18, 2021

BATESVILLE, AR – Nonprofit, online Western Governors University (WGU) surprised Independence County resident Jennifer Downs with a “Sage Scholarship” of $2,500 during an interview with WGU South Region Strategic Partnerships Manager Barbara LeCesne.

WGU’s “Sage Scholarship” is named for WGU’s mascot and intended to help newly enrolled students pay for tuition.

“It’s important for us, as educators, to invest in and support our teachers.  COVID-19 has made the education profession’s already essential role even more critical in our children’s lives. We not only want teachers to be good educators, but we also want them to be successful professionals with little debt and room for continued growth. The best way to accomplish this is to help them earn their degree efficiently and cost-effectively,” said Linda Battles, Regional Director of the WGU South Region. “We’re proud to support Jennifer and applaud her for taking this step to further her career in education and for setting an example that it’s never too late to earn a degree.”

Downs—who is attending WGU to earn a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education—is a Batesville School District System employee. She found her calling for teaching after she began substituting and hopes to one day obtain a role at one of the district’s schools in Batesville.

“I always enjoy working with children. Of all the careers I would ever choose in my life, teaching makes the most sense to me. That’s why I want to be an elementary school teacher,” said Downs. “I’m going to college to have a degree, to have a better career that will financially support my family.”

The WGU Sage Scholarship is a competitive scholarship worth up to $2,500 toward tuition in any of WGU’s bachelor’s or master’s degree programs. WGU offers more than 30 scholarships and grants. Learn more at  

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