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Sunday, November 18, 2018

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Kristen Bethea and Emily De Los Monteros donated on Giving Tuesday. Kristen Bethea and Emily De Los Monteros donated on Giving Tuesday.

Aztec Proud Student Donations on the Rise

SDSU students recognized the importance of philanthropy on Giving Tuesday.
By Tobin Vaughn

Francesca Guerrero had never heard of Giving Tuesday, but on Dec. 1 when she was asked to donate $10 to the Student Scholarship Fund, she was all in. In exchange for her gift, the 18-year-old freshman biology major from Poway received a T-shirt along with a lanyard and some snacks.

"This was new to me,” said Guerrero, who hopes to become a pediatrician. “But I think it's really important for me to give back to the school because I'm going to dedicate so much time here and it’s going to be an integral part of my life."

Developing a culture of student philanthropy at SDSU is at the heart of Aztec Proud, a major initiative of SDSU’s Office of Alumni Engagement.  Alumni staff and student volunteers spent much of Giving Tuesday at a booth in the SDSU Bookstore offering refreshments to previous student donors along with the gifts and snacks they handed out to those newly joining the program.

In just a few hours, more than 100 new donors signed up, bringing to nearly 2,600 the number of student philanthropists who have donated to SDSU through Aztec Proud. Many, like SDSU junior Emily De Los Monteros, said they gave because they know from experience that even a small donation can make a big difference.

"I actually donated because I get financial aid and I know there are students out there who do not get it,” said the 26-year-old junior social work major from San Diego. “It’s good to give someone else an opportunity for a scholarship.”

Throughout Giving Tuesday, SDSU’s Strive website helped raise funding for scholarships with scores of alumni making contributions. Student engagement officers working from the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center reached out by phone to young alumni as well, encouraging them to make gifts.

A need to give

In the Bookstore, Kayla Borell was particularly receptive to the Giving Tuesday message of helping others. A communications major from Redlands, she hopes to have a career working with nonprofit organizations.

The 18-year-old freshman said making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate is important to her.  She believes the sentiment is widely shared among her peers.

"I think our generation is like a pivotal generation,” she explained. “We’re really paving the way for future generations because our economic and financial situations are different from before and what we do with the present is really important to future generations."

Borell is a member of ONE, an international campaigning and advocacy organization working to end extreme poverty and preventable disease. She said she joined Aztec Proud because philanthropy is a part of her identity.

"I've always been involved in it,” she said. So it's just something that's important to me and when I'm not helping others it just feels weird, so I need to."

You can make a difference with a donation of any amount at SDSU Strive.