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A Life-Changing Scholarship

Kelli Carter

“This is going to change my life,” says Drake senior Kelli Carter, who could not imagine graduating without the scholarship support she received.

Throughout her college career, Kelli Carter has visualized walking across the stage to receive her diploma.

It's been the image that has kept her going as she's pursued her education while raising two children and working part time.

Carter is seeking a degree in special education at Drake. She hopes to find a job teaching with the Des Moines Public Schools. She believes she can be an inspiration and source of support to students who face challenges since she has overcome adversity time and again in her own life.

"I think I have a lot to offer students," she says. "I have lost a home that I worked so hard to get. I have lost things. I have lost both of my parents. I have had a hard life, but my education is something that no one can take away from me."

Limited resources have also made it difficult for Carter to complete her degree. Last year she received scholarship support from The Catalyst Fund. The Catalyst Fund was created by a group of faculty committed to advancing the goals of diversity and inclusion at Drake and providing assistance to students who struggle financially. It offers scholarships as well as emergency funding for individuals facing a one-time financial hardship.

"The goal is to focus on access, and we understand that some of the biggest obstacles are financial hurdles," says Deb DeLaet, the David E. Maxwell Distinguished Professor of International Affairs, who helped to spearhead The Catalyst Fund. "We want to send a message to students that they belong and the faculty wants to support them."

Carter says receiving the scholarship from The Catalyst Fund made it possible for her to continue her education at Drake last spring.

"It is very difficult for me to work and go to school, especially being an older, nontraditional student. I don't know how I would have finished school without The Catalyst Fund. It means everything to me."

With the assistance she's received, Carter hopes to graduate next semester and fulfill her lifelong dream.

"This is literally going to change my life," she says. "I have overcome a lot of barriers to walk across the stage in December 2017."

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Drake University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Drake University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 2507 University Ave., Des Moines, IA 50311, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Drake or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Drake as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Drake as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Drake where you agree to make a gift to Drake and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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