Amare Lovely had only completed a few classes of his college career when he was forced to put his pursuit of a bachelor’s degree on hold because of the high price of tuition. He worked to make ends meet and took classes when he could, but after years of slow progress, he put aside his dream of a college degree and joined the Navy.
Lovely served five years as a Fleet Marine Force combat corpsman before sustaining a traumatic brain injury when an improvised explosive device detonated during his service. After receiving a Purple Heart and an honorable discharge from the Navy, he decided to return to school.
In 2016, Lovely was awarded a scholarship through the Wells Fargo Veteran’s Scholarship Program to resume his pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at the University of San Diego.
“It just made me feel really good that there’s people out there that care for veterans,” he said.
Supporting access to college
Wells Fargo works with a variety of nonprofit organizations to support students who dream of going to college. The company provided more than $8 million in 2016 alone to nonprofits that support access to higher education.
Scholarship America, a nonprofit helping to administer Wells Fargo’s scholarships for veterans and people with disabilities, recognized Wells Fargo for the company’s dedication to students with a Dreams to Success award in May 2017.
“Scholarship America is proud to partner with Wells Fargo,” said Robert Ballard, president and CEO of Scholarship America, “because of their commitment to economic prosperity through educational support.”
Turning dreams into careers
In addition to funding scholarships, Wells Fargo provides programs and volunteer support to help students while they attend college. One such program is the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute, a conference that provides career coaching, mentoring, and networking opportunities for students attending historically black colleges and universities.
Catherine Gonzalez attended the Leadership Institute in 2014, while she was a student at Savannah State University. During the conference she participated in a career fair and learned about Wells Fargo’s Audit Associate Program. Gonzalez completed the program in 2016 in Philadelphia, and today is a senior auditor for Wells Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“I gained an education, which is most important,” said Gonzalez. “But overall, I gained a career.”
She continues to attend the annual Leadership Institute — now as a Wells Fargo volunteer supporting students. Many of them, like her, are the first in their family to attend college.
“For an organization to put money aside to help students that dream of going to college, it means the world to me,” she said.