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Scarlet Promise Grant Recipient Anna Masciandaro JMS ’22 Reflects on Opportunities
“When people get an education, they’re gaining tools and skills to empower themselves.”

Journalism and Media Studies (JMS) student Anna Masciandaro ’22 is a Scarlet Promise Grant recipient and a first-generation college student. She is part of the Honors College and Douglass Residential College and is active in various clubs and organizations, including the Daily Targum and Rutgers Women’s Ultimate Frisbee. 

 Anna was born in Cambodia and adopted when she was a year old. She grew up in Westfield, NJ, about 20 miles away from Rutgers–New Brunswick, and was eager to attend a school with a healthy diversity of people and programs. Receiving a Scarlet Promise Grant helped alleviate the financial burden on Anna and her family. Anna shared her thoughts with us on education and her future: 

 “With the cost of higher education rising, college is inaccessible to a lot of deserving students. The Scarlet Promise Grants program opens up an opportunity for students who might have otherwise not been able to attend college. The rising cost of attendance can jeopardize a family’s financial situation, and I don’t think anyone should have to encounter this scenario. When people get an education, they’re gaining tools and skills to empower themselves. It’s an investment in your future.  

 “I feel grateful that I have the opportunity to go to Rutgers, where I meet people from many different backgrounds. Sometimes, the school’s size can be overwhelming, but at SC&I, I’m part of a smaller community. I have the chance to develop relationships with my professors and staff members. SC&I’s majors and programs are a good match for my skill set and help me build on my love and appreciation for journalism. 

 “I applied to the Master of Communication and Media dual degree program that SC&I offers because I thought it was a great opportunity. I know there’s still much I want to learn about journalism, communication, and media. If I’m accepted, I’ll receive my undergraduate degree in May 2022 and my master’s degree in August or December 2023, depending on how my classes play out. I plan to work in the media and communication field with an overlap in public policy and perhaps the law.” 

 Scarlet Promise Grants provide need-based aid and emergency support to more than 10,000 students every year. They are of such importance that Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway kick-started a $10 million focused campaign for the Scarlet Promise Grants program on his first day in office, July 1, 2020. To launch the campaign, the president personally donated $75,000. To join our other donors in helping make a world-class Rutgers education attainable and affordable for deserving students like Anna, visit SC&I Giving or contact Assistant Dean for Development Rob Eccles. Go to Scarlet Promise Grants to learn more about this monumental program. 

Photo: Courtesy of Anna Masciandaro JMS ’22

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