WPU students impacted by Coastal Courageous Finish Scholarship

July 29, 2022

The Coastal Courageous Finish Scholarship is part of the “22 Courageous Gifts in 2022” giving campaign – a campus-wide fundraising initiative at William Peace University (WPU). Donors, like the Coastal Credit Union Foundation, support this initiative by making a courageous commitment that provides our students with the resources they need to learn through immersive experiences, build upon their courage and develop the confidence needed to turn their passion into purpose. These gifts will shape both the future of our University and our students. To learn more or to donate visit 22 in 2022

Nine WPU students were impacted by a new scholarship this year. 

The Coastal Courageous Finish Scholarship, established thanks to the generosity of the Coastal Credit Union Foundation, provides well-performing WPU junior and senior students with support to overcome remaining financial barriers that could prevent them from completing their education. 

Already, this scholarship is enabling students to pursue and complete degrees without financial stress. Here are three of their stories:

Trenton Thomas ’23

For Trenton Thomas ’23, receiving the Coastal Courageous Finish Scholarship in his junior year allowed him to pursue his passion while lessening the difficulties of paying for college.

“The Coastal Courageous Finish Scholarship has given me the gift of a continued pursuit of knowledge,” Thomas said. “I get to continue my education because of the Coastal Courageous Finish Scholarship and because of this gift, I will be eternally grateful.”

Thomas, who will graduate with a major in History and U.S. Studies in 2023, is passionate about historical research.

“Without the positive environment of WPU and its amazing staff and professors, I am uncertain I would have ever found my passion in historical research,” the Erwin native said. “Going forward, I hope that the confidence WPU has given me academically will in turn give me the courage to seek further education.”

Thomas found his way to WPU through two family members that attended the University. His family members showed him the atmosphere of campus while he grew up. When deciding his next step after high school, Thomas knew he wanted to continue his family’s legacy at Peace. 

Marerika Monroe ’22

Marerika Monroe ’22 discovered WPU through a mentor at Crosby Scholars. Monroe planned to major in Musical Theatre and the mentor recommended she check out WPU’s theatre program. On her first visit to campus, she fell in love with the University. 

In another twist of fate, the day she received her acceptance letter was the same day she auditioned for her first WPU production. She landed that part in that play and went on to land many more at both WPU and Raleigh Little Theatre.  

“As a woman of color, I want to bring my own style and voice to the characters I play. WPU has given me the confidence to do that,” Monroe said. “My professors challenge me to be more than just a singer and to be courageous in the roles I audition for.” 

Her decision to attend also lead her brother, Matthew, to transfer to WPU.

When Monroe received the Coastal Courageous Finish Scholarship, she and her mom were overwhelmed with excitement. Her mom even cried. 

Before the scholarship, Monroe was unsure how she would finish paying to receive her diploma. The scholarship covered her remaining balance and enabled her to graduate. 

“This scholarship meant that I could finish college with and degree and no worries about my finances to complete college,” Monroe said. “I feel blessed and very grateful for getting the scholarship.” 

Kyana Ayscue ’22

For Kyana Ayscue ’22, the scholarship meant she could focus on exams her final semester rather than finances.

“The Coastal Courageous Finish Scholarship gave me peace of mind during exam week and the days leading up to graduation,” she said. “With all that happened during the semester, the last thing I wanted to worry about was paying off my balance and whether or not it would keep me from walking across the stage. So, for that, I want to thank them. Thanks for helping make it to graduation.”

The Henderson native studied Simulation and Game Design at WPU. The major and its in-depth courses drew her to WPU’s campus — she couldn’t find any other local program that taught the vital game design tool Unreal Engine. 

While Ayscue started at WPU studying this major, she continued to pursue it because of the supportive WPU community. She credits her courses, internship, and academic advising for giving her confidence to pursue her dream career field. 

To courageously support students like Ayscue, Monroe and Thomas, visit www.peace.edu/give.