UMPS CARE Charities is excited to announce the graduation of TWO of our All-Star Scholarship recipients, Josh Perrin (the 2011 recipient) and Cadence "Zoe" Cottom (the 2012 recipient). Last newsletter we highlighted Zoe Cottom and now it's time to focus on Josh Perrin.

Josh is the 2011 scholarship recipient. He received his diploma from the University of Colorado at Boulder this past spring. Josh's degree was a five year program and he graduated with a major in Environmental Design with an emphasis in Architecture and a minor in business.

Josh has a good head on his shoulders and shared with us the importance of focusing on his studies from the get go. Thanks to his mature outlook and focus Josh graduated as an honors student. During his interview he further showed his maturity as he expressed gratitude for all this has done to help change his life. Here is the interview in its entirity.

How did you hear about the UMPS CARE Scholarship?  
My Social Worker, Aunt and I were researching scholarships on the internet, which I could apply for as a foster youth. 

What did you think when you learned you were the official recipient of the All-Star Scholarship in 2011?
Finding out that I was the recipient of the UMPS All-Star Scholarship was an incredible moment for me. It helped me to realize that I could pursue my dreams without having to stress about financial obligations. It also made me feel like there was a community that was there to support me at a time that I needed the reinforcement to know that I could continue to be successful after high school and make something of myself.

What school are you graduating from and what is your major? 
I have officially graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a major in Environmental Design emphasizing in Architecture with a minor in Business.

What has the value of the scholarship been to you personally? 
This scholarship has been absolutely invaluable to me. The financial support from the All-Star scholarship gave me the opportunity to fully focus on my academics. The community support from UMPS Care Charities was just as valuable and I thoroughly enjoyed the email/phone check-ins, care packages and the MLB baseball games with the umpires. I have felt nothing but genuine support from my UMPS family.    

Do you have any advice for others who can relate to your journey? 
Don’t let your past experiences define who you are. Surround yourself with positive people and positive support systems. Believe in yourself just as much as the people around you. Work hard and dream BIG!

What will you be doing after you graduate? 
I am currently looking for a job as an architectural intern. I hope to work with an exciting Architecture Firm that is passionate about good design that improves the lives of the people who use it.

How has your college experience and the UMPS CARE scholarship help instilled a sense of giving back? 
The All-Star scholarship has given me the opportunity to attend college and to be a successful student, allowing me to define myself by my accomplishments rather than my past experiences. It has been an inspiring experience, and it is important for me that I pay it forward when I have the means. I would love to give back my time as a mentor and when I am financially able, give back to support people who grew up in similar circumstances with similar setbacks as myself.   

Do you feel like having the opportunity to attend University of Colorado at Boulder has better prepared you for the professional life that lies ahead of you? 
My opportunity to attend the CU has definitely prepared me for my professional life beyond college. I have learned a ton and have developed a huge passion for architecture and design which I am thrilled to pursue.

Is there anything we could have done to improve the scholarship from your perspective? 
Honestly, this scholarship was great. There isn’t anything I think you guys need to improve on.

Would you be willing to help serve as a mentor for other youth who become All-Star Scholars in the future? 
I would love nothing more than to give back to the UMPS community! I am where I am today because of positive support. Therefore I would absolutely be willing to be of support to future All-Star Scholars.