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Manchester first-generation scholarship winner Allred is ‘Realizing the Dream’

Elizabeth AllredElizabeth Allred is the first person in her family to attend college. Adopted by her grandparents when she was 13, the Manchester University social work major from Huntington, Ind., was recently honored with a “Realizing the Dream” award by the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI).
Each recipient is awarded $3,000 by ICI to help with college costs, and each of them in turn selects a "most influential" teacher or mentor to receive a $1,000 professional development grant. 

In Allred’s case, that teacher is Huntington North High School’s Paige Humphries, someone who cares about academics, but cares even more about the individual students. That care involved a word after class, a kind question when someone was having a bad day.

That day for Allred was her 18th birthday. Humphries noticed she was down, pulled her aside and asked how she was doing. Allred walked into class the next day to homemade cake, games and karaoke. 

Personal connections like this also drew Allred to Manchester.

When Allred was getting ready for college, she wanted to be near her grandparents. She had always known she wanted to help people, and social work finally bubbled to the top as a career.

During her three college visits, only the Manchester social work program “felt like home.” 

“It was the only department I really got attached to after visiting and sitting in on the classes,” she said. Accustomed to small-town life, she was also drawn to what she describes as the “quaint campus.”

Alicia DaileyAlong the way, Allred has found many caring faculty members, and she has developed a close bond with her academic adviser, Assistant Professor Alicia Dailey.

“She got here just three years ago, so it’s been nice to learn together through the process, to see both of us learn how to grasp certain areas,” Allred said. For example, they both found the process of doing online enrolling for classes a challenge, so they tackled it together.

“It’s learn as you go,” Allred said.

They also talk about their lives. Dailey grew up in Indianapolis. As an ordained Baptist minister, she seeks opportunities to integrate her faith with social work ethics and values. For Allred, remaining close to her grandparents is a priority.

They are her inspiration.

“They’ve always been back there, saying, ‘Hey, go to school, do well in school, keep moving forward, keep doing what you need to do so you can have that career you want,’” Allred said.

Her grandmother is a certified nursing assistant and her grandfather worked in a factory.

“My grandpa had to start at the bottom and work his way up to plant manager over 35 years. Anymore, those stories are hard to come by.”

They wanted her to start with a career she loved, and go on from there.

Once she got to Manchester, she was immediately asked to join the Social Service Club.

As it turned out, she become club president, even though she really had no idea about how such clubs work. Whenever she had a question, she got help. In the end, the tiny club raised money for a Christmas Angel Tree and joined others in the North Manchester community in welcoming a 
Guatemalan family new to the country.

For the mom, the club pulled together basic kitchen items, bath salts and lotion. The little girl got a baby doll set, and the boy got a soccer ball. Afterward, the club joined with the children and other volunteers for a game of soccer.

Their translator was a Manchester biology-chemistry major whose family is Guatemalan. She has since switched her major to social work.

Allred’s plans include pursuing a master’s degree. Recently engaged, she hopes to work part time during that process and build a life. She has been with her fiancée since the sixth grade, and he is at Manchester majoring in professional sales and marketing.

The Realizing the Dream scholarship is provided for 30 first-generation college students each year from Indiana’s private, nonprofit colleges and universities by the Independent Colleges of Indiana. It is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. They were chosen for outstanding achievement in their first year. 

The Huntington North High School graduate’s leadership activities include being social work Class of 2022 representative, president of the Social Service Club, and being a member and secretary of the Student Senate. 

One-third of all students who enter Manchester as undergraduates are first-generation students, something made possible in large part by financial aid given from the University combined with state and federal grants.

About Manchester

With campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., Manchester University offers more than 70 areas of academic study to 1,400 students in undergraduate programs,a Master of Accountancy, a Master of Science in pharmacogenomics, a Master of Athletic Training a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a four-year dual degree in pharmacy and pharmacogenomics. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu

Our mission
Manchester University respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.

December 2019