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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue

       

Mark and Stacy Parkinson support immigrant students with a new scholarship



 
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Javier Martinez
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Jonathan Lozano

Mark and Stacy Parkinson are proud to have attended Wichita State and they strive through their giving to help today’s Shockers get the most from their college experience.

They have endowed one scholarship to support students who participate in the WSU debate program and another for students who want to work as interns in Washington, D.C., where the Parkinsons live.

Now, the former Kansas governor and his wife have created a generous scholarship aimed at undocumented students who are the children of immigrants, especially those in the DACA program. DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, protects individuals whose parents brought them to the U.S. illegally from being deported.

“Stacy and I want these new pioneers to understand that they are not alone,” says Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association, which represents skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities nationwide. “Immigrants are not only welcome, they are a vital part of our country’s future success. To be able to offer this help, at a university we feel so strongly about, is a dream come true.”

The Parkinsons have donated $200,000 to launch the scholarship. The two students selected as the first recipients will receive $34,000 each over four years, beginning this fall. They are Javier Martinez, a senior at Kapaun Mt. Carmel in Wichita, and Jonathan Lozano, a senior at Shawnee Heights near Topeka. The award of $8,500 a year is intended to defray most of the cost of tuition, fees and books for an academic year. In each of the next three years, one additional student will receive the scholarship.

“Immigrants are our heritage and the fabric of our country,” says Stacy Parkinson, an attorney who works as a citizenship instructor for adults pursuing naturalization. “People with differing thoughts, cultures and experiences are what make our communities and nation vibrant and robust.”

Stacy and Mark both grew up in Wichita. Mark graduated summa cum laude from Wichita State in 1980. Stacy attended WSU, but completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Kansas. Both got their law degrees from the KU School of Law.

The couple was inspired to establish the Mark and Stacy Parkinson Scholarship for First Generation Immigrant Students by a similar step taken by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to fund scholarships for undocumented students.

“We want the entire immigrant population to know that there are many who support and welcome them,” Mark said.