EVERY YEAR, GENEROUS DONORS AND ALUMNI CHOOSE to provide funding for a variety of scholarship opportunities at Central. These scholarships are awarded to students who have gone above and beyond in their education and involvement within UCO and the community – like Christian Coleman.
Recent UCO graduate Christian Coleman was a first-generation college student pursuing a major in international business and minor in business administration through the College of Business. Coleman was drawn to UCO because of its central location and known advocacy for students. Before Central, the Oklahoma City native attended Millwood High School and Francis Tuttle Biosciences and Medicine Academy.
In addition to excelling in the classroom, Coleman was highly involved on campus. As a freshman, he participated in the UCO Black Male Initiative, served as the UCO Student Association (UCOSA) Human Diversity chairperson and was a student leader for the UCO Office of Public Affairs.
As he continued his time at Central, Coleman began serving on the International Board of Directors for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., in addition to representing the university as a Campus Compact community civic engagement fellow and serving as vice president of UCOSA. Because of his tireless efforts at UCO and in his community, he was selected as a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation social justice fellow while serving as the chairperson for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Student Advisory Board.
Being the first in his family to pursue a college degree, Coleman says financial assistance was scarce; however, thanks to a variety of scholarships at UCO, he was able to overcome financial burdens, which created new opportunities for his family and, in turn, his community and the university.
“Without scholarships, there is a strong possibility that I wouldn’t have graduated,” Coleman said.
Coleman is extremely grateful to all the donors who have made his aspirations possible. He wants to share with them the importance and positive impact their investment toward his education has made. The scholarships he received have inspired him to one day be a scholarship donor and help students just like him.
His advice for students applying for scholarships is, “to be authentic in your response while showing that you have a big dream. You must believe in yourself and the work that you can do before others invest in you.”
Upon graduating, Coleman hopes to be a financial adviser or community investment banker. He has a passion for developing and contributing toward the growth of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and may explore that interest in the capacity of development or public service.
Coleman says he has been able to get more out of his time at Central because of the generosity and support of donors. He hopes every student at Central can get as much out of their college experience as he has.