Commitment to inclusiveness inspires donors to support ASU students

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Born and raised in Arizona, Alicia Garcia knew that one day she would be a Sun Devil. Izzamar Gracia Basaca was born in Phoenix but raised in Nogales. She returned to complete her education. Now both are pursuing degrees in social work with the help of the Redman Family Scholarship.

“I am in the last year of my program so many of the grants I am eligible for are exhausted or dwindling. The Redman Family Scholarship allows me to focus on my classes, internship, and homework instead of worrying about working more to pay for school,” Garcia said.

Basaca earned her associate’s degree at Phoenix College before transferring to ASU.

“My parents and I were not prepared for the cost of college,” said Basaca, who has worked multiple jobs to cover expenses while attending school part-time. “Receiving financial aid allows me to go to school full-time and finish my bachelor’s degree in two years.”

Linda and Charles Redman established the scholarship to provide financial support to underrepresented, first-generation college students as they work toward a degree in social work and strive to better their community.

The idea for the scholarship stemmed from Linda Redman’s work with ASU’s Women and Philanthropy where she had supported their scholarship program.

“Up until then, we had assumed that millions had to be invested,” she said.

They began to develop a scholarship drawing upon personal experience.

Active community supporters, the Redmans are both believers in ASU’s commitment to inclusiveness and engagement. Their work mentoring grade-school children from primarily Latino families to help them prepare for college served as an inspiration.

“We recognized the need for scholarships, especially among those who were good students but not at the top of their class as well as those that were transferring from community colleges, which is a key starting point for many of these students,” said Charles Redman. “We also wanted to support a field in which there was a critical need for graduates, especially those who are bilingual. Linda’s work with the mental-health system led her to the School of Social Work where scholarships were more limited.”

Both Garcia and Basaca were granted Redman Family Scholarships this year.

“I fell into social work,” said Garcia. “Originally I went to school for American Sign Language interpreting. As I began fieldwork I struggled with the limitations of my role; it was clear I wanted a bigger role in the helping field. A professor of mine suggested I try social work, and I fell in love with it.”

Basaca is determined to work in the juvenile justice system.

“I want to change the lives of troubled kids by reminding them that they are worthy and providing them with the resources to reintegrate into society.”

She has volunteered with Future for Kids, mentoring fifth-grade, at-risk youth.

“It made an impact on me,” Basaca said. “I am even more determined to assist children who are affected by adverse childhood experiences. These children are not hopeless. They deserve a chance, and I believe I can help them be successful.”

“We really enjoy learning about the recipients of the scholarship; it always brings wonderment and tears to our eyes to read and hear about the challenges that these students have had to overcome to get where they are today,” Linda Redman said.

“We hope that this scholarship, and other scholarships that our model may inspire, play a role in supporting these students toward their end goal of graduating from the School of Social Work and in enabling them to get a personally rewarding job in the community,” Charles added.

“I think scholarships help the community most by giving students that might not otherwise be able to afford it the opportunity at a higher education,” Garcia said.

Garcia hopes to stay in the deaf community, focusing on working with children who are deaf.

“I am currently interning for the Arizona Department of Health Services' Newborn Screening Program, which includes hearing screenings. I am responsible for making sure babies who fail their initial screen have a confirmation screen by one month of age, diagnosis by three months of age, and an intervention in place by six months of age. I am pretty much living the dream,” she said.