Fresh out of high school, Summer Balser came to NKU with the dream of becoming an Elementary School teacher.  But at 19, her life looked very different from those of her peers…


As a first-generation student and a single mother, Summer found herself staring down the reality of a tuition bill that seemed impossible to manage.  But it was a challenge she was determined to conquer. 


“I took on a direct sales part-time job and worked through my son's naps to take short delivery jobs.  Then I started taking him driving with me on deliveries just so we could spend some time together. Homework only happened when he was asleep.”


When Summer received an email from Financial Aid about scholarship applications, she immediately responded with the same level of determination and honesty. 


“I wrote about my story and how I wanted a scholarship so I don’t have to go straight to work [from class] all the time. I didn’t want to miss out on anything more in my son’s life.”


“I checked my email constantly.  I was in the car with my mom and my grandma and we were going out to eat with my son when I finally received an email that I was being awarded a scholarship. I literally started crying!”


Summer, like many of our students, has had to overcome many obstacles while trying to complete her education.  But because of donor support, she was able to persist toward her ultimate goal.  Not only will she graduate from NKU, but a semester earlier than most of her peers.  And after that?


“I’m definitely getting my Masters at NKU. That’s not even a question.”  She's even determined that her son, Hudson, will be a Norse someday.  


NKU is deeply committed to providing access for even more students and encouraging them to become engaged members of our regional community upon graduating.


Please join us in supporting the eager learners of NKU who will lead our community — further, faster — to those levels of success of which we only dream today. 

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