Jake Peterson would not have been able to pursue his passion as a student-athlete if he had not received an endowed scholarship from Hope College.

“I had the ability to fully commit to the swim team and my majors,” said Jake, who is captain of Hope’s swim team and a dual psychology and computer science major. “And I absolutely would not have been able to do it without the scholarship. There was no other place I would be able to swim full time as an athlete and afford to go.”

Receiving an endowed scholarship meant that Jake, who is from Texas, did not have to get a part-time job during the school year to pay his tuition bills. Without the worry of balancing his job and his studies, he has been free to pursue Division III swimming, serve others and take advantage of hands-on learning opportunities.

Jake participated in Hope Software Institute (HSI) where he got real-world software development experience building an interactive touch board to track student teachers for the education department. “I fell in love with the software development process,” Jake said. “I know this is absolutely something I would love to do for my career.”

While most of his time outside the classroom is spent working out or competing with the swim team, Jake also found time to participate in Hope’s Center for Leadership. He worked on an interdisciplinary team of students to solve a real-world problem for a local business: updating outdated computer software.

Jake is ever grateful for his endowed scholarship, which made all these opportunities possible. He was awarded the VanderWerf endowed scholarship, which was created by the family of Calvin VanderWerf, past president of Hope. As an endowed scholarship recipient, he met the VanderWerf family during a luncheon, which was held at the president’s house on campus.

“I got to meet the whole family and his kids and their kids,” said Jake, who felt honored to meet them all. “They grew up in the president’s house. I loved hearing all their memories.”

He urged others to consider funding an endowed scholarship, which is a gift that permanently helps students year after year.

“Anyone who funds an endowed scholarship will directly have a hand in the development of serious leaders not only in the Hope and Holland communities but in the world,” Jake said. “The type of students who come out of Hope through scholarships like this are of a caliber you wouldn’t see anywhere else.”

Consider funding an endowed scholarship and help more outstanding students like Jake to afford a prized Hope education. Learn more at hope.edu/give.

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