Kelly/Strul Emerging Scholar Program Helps First Generation Students Earn a Degree Debt-free

Alyssa Lowe ’22 is excited to pave the way for other Florida Atlantic University nursing students as she is proudly the first Kelly/Strul Emerging Scholar to receive her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. The former student has dreamt of becoming a nurse since she was a child.

“The thought of becoming a nurse who will represent underprivileged communities has been the cornerstone of my drive and determination,” said Alyssa. “Unfortunately, I realized my life’s hardships could make dreams feel unattainable; that the fiery spark I had could blow away in an instant. But scholarships from FAU provided the flame that I needed to chase my passion.”

Established in 2017 by then-FAU President John Kelly and his wife Carolyn Kelly, together with Boca Raton philanthropists Aubrey and Sally Strul, the Kelly/Strul Emerging Scholars Program assists academically talented first-generation, low-income students to graduate debt-free from Florida Atlantic in four years or less.

To Alyssa, being a Kelly/Strul Scholar meant much more than just graduating from college debt-free. She expressed her gratitude for the program allowing her to feel at home, even when her home was miles away.

“It provided a sense of family and community, and gave me the opportunity to make connections with amazing, inspiring individuals I will never forget,” she said. “Being part of this program was a constant reminder that I had people in my corner rooting for me, even when I didn’t have the strength to root for myself.”

During her time at Florida Atlantic, Alyssa was an active member of several student organizations, including the Black Student Union and SISTUHS, a national community service-based organization for African American women, where she served as a parliamentarian. Additionally, she logged countless hours volunteering as a Kelly/Strul program mentor.

After graduation, the Fort Lauderdale native successfully passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and entered a nursing residency program where she works as a cardiovascular nurse. “To all of the program’s donors – you are making a tremendous difference in so many lives in ways that you could never imagine,” she remarked. “I hope that we are all making you proud.”

Strul group

To learn more about how Florida Atlantic is supporting bright scholars like Alyssa and others, as well as how Transcend Tomorrow: The Campaign for Florida Atlantic University is working to address the growing need to train more health care workers, create a healthier environment and provide scholarships to propel access to higher education, visit

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