Julie Pierce is a 51-year-old student in the Fine Arts department who has seen the benefits of financial aide and scholarship. She returned to school after taking a long break to raise her children. Now she’s trying to help other students financially with their education.
Inspired by Kyle Macdonald, who traded a red paperclip for something better until he was able to get a house, Pierce started Smart Trades for Art scholarships.
Pierce has begun trading items for something “Bigger-or-Better.” Her goal is to create a full-tuition endowed scholarship.
“I have received quite a few scholarships myself,” Pierce said. “I had a desire to give back and show general appreciation for what I have received.”
With an endowed scholarship, the money Macdonald earns would never be used. Only the interest from the money would be used to fund the scholarship.
“The principle will always stay in the bank so it’s always available. It’s a scholarship that continues year after year,” Pierce said. “I will be able to help lots and lots of students over the years.”
To reach her goal of having this endowed scholarship she will need to raise $75,000.
“I may be working to create it, but I don’t feel like it’s just my scholarship,” Pierce said. “I think it belongs to everybody that donates to it. They are all a part of it.”
Pierce has recently completed her first trade. She traded a pen used by local artist James Christensen for an 8-ounce silver certificate.
Pierce is also accepting donations and having an auction to help raise money for the scholarship.
Some of the items that will be up for auction are poster designed by the Graphic Design chair Jim Godfrey, two violins and services offered by a graphic design firm.
For more information on trades, the auction and how to donate go to: www.startstrading.wordpress.com.
By Thomas Larsen