Student Pays-it-Forward by Creating Scholarship to help Peers

Krystal Monroe had dreams, but it took resilience to pursue a college education and succeed after much adversity. Now into her third semester at San Diego Mesa College, the 21-year-old has decided to offer a scholarship to help other students in similar situations to achieve their dreams.

The Krystal Rose Scholarship is one of 134 scholarships totaling more than $85,000 that will be awarded to San Diego Mesa College students on Friday, April 27, 2012, 5:30 p.m. at the Double Tree Hotel in Mission Valley. About 35 students are expected to receive multiple scholarships.

Many of the scholarships awarded are offered by academic departments, businesses and organizations. Others, like the Krystal Rose Scholarship, are more personal, created by individuals to honor parents and students, and a belief in paying it forward.

Named for Krystal and her sister, the Krystal Rose Scholarship is open to young women who have overcome obstacles such as growing up without a father or never having the beneficial privileges of both parents throughout life. Two scholarships are offered at $250 each.

 “After all the help I have been given, I want to give back,” said Krystal, who grew up with an absent father, a mom that was in and out of prison, and a life of instability, confusion and self-doubt. A fixture at the local YMCA since entering their transitional living program for homeless and at-risk youth, Krystal says her turning point came after she was accepted into the San Diego Urban Teacher Fellows Program (SDUTF) at Mesa College.

The awards program will be emceed by Mesa College President Dr. Pamela T. Luster and Acting Dean of Student Affairs Larry Maxey. The gala is presented by the San Diego Mesa College Foundation.

Donations by individuals and corporations make it possible for scholarship recipients to attend for free. Fee is $12 for students, and $35 per person for all other attendees. For more information, see