President’s Gala Fundraising Helped Student Become ASU Employee

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By Hazel Scott/ASU

Garinita Taylor (’22) tells everyone she knows that an education at Alabama State University changed her life.

A recipient of ASU’s CARES Program, which is funded partly by the President’s Gala fundraising, Taylor now works in the very department that helped her cross the stage.

“I can gratefully say that the contributions of the University’s donors, leaders, and educators have paved the way for excellence in not only my own career path, but in the student population as a whole,” said Taylor, who is the Operational Management of Development in the Division of Institutional Advancement.  
ASU CARES is an initiative established by the Division of Institutional Advancement to help deserving students graduate.
For as long as she can remember, the Atlanta native had her heart set on attending ASU. But because of financial concerns, she almost signed up for military service.

“I was going to the military. I had started signing my papers to go to the Marines and then I received an acceptance letter from Alabama State offering me a Dean’s Scholarship. Without that scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to attend college. I always had a vision of going to Alabama State University.  It was a perfect fit for me,” said Taylor.

Because of CARES,Taylor said she was able to break generational curses.   “I’m a first-generation graduate. I was struggling to get my balance cleared at school. CARES helped me do that,” she said.

Now, she has come full circle. Taylor received a letter offering her a position in ASU’s CARES program just a few days after her interview and months before graduating.

“This job was exactly what I had wanted,” said Taylor. “I could not believe that I had been offered my dream job at my alma mater before even graduating. It really gave me an opportunity to truly give back…It elevated my life so much,” said Taylor, who’s about to start her master’s journey.

Taylor said she feels blessed for the opportunities ASU has afforded her.  

“From being a work study student and seeing everything behind the scenes, and being an ASPIRE mentor, working with other campus organizations… and then being able to contribute and help others in my job at ASU, I think it’s the best gift I could have ever received,” Taylor said. “All of this grew my love for ASU.”

For anyone looking for a world-class education, Taylor said ASU is the place to come.

“If you come with your mind set on success, you will get there,” she pointed out. “ASU has so many amazing people willing to help you reach that goal.”

Taylor challenged Gala patrons, alumni, as well as current students to give back to help another student cross the finish line and take that next step in life.

“To have that support system that will give you a small hand and allow you to do the rest is a life changer,” Taylor added.