Indiana State University Newsroom

Gala to benefit State Works Scholarship Program

August 16, 2017

The cost of a college education came with sticker shock for Nuri Rodriguez and she knew she needed to address it from the start of her freshmen year at Indiana State University.

Rodriguez and her parents were elated when they discovered during her freshman orientation that she qualified for participation in the university's State Works Scholarship Program, which began in the fall of 2016.

"My parents were happy to know that I would be able to have a way to pay for college while I was simply happy to be a part of an awesome program where people truly cared about the direction of my future," said Rodriguez, now a sophomore elementary and special education major from Indianapolis. "Admittedly, I was also excited to hear that I'd have a little more spending money in my pocket."

The State Works Scholarship is awarded to first-time freshmen who are an Indiana or Illinois resident and unconditionally admitted to Indiana State. They must complete their FAFSA by the State of Indiana deadline and demonstrate financial need to participate in State Works, which embodies social and community engagement that allows students to gain work experience at an on-campus job while collecting half their earnings and half of the earnings going toward the unpaid student balance.

State Works completed its first year with 98 active participants. Of that, 91 participants completed the Workplace Professional Skills Certificate addressing the eight Career Readiness Competencies defined by NACE and 96 of the participants completed a résumé review incorporating their State Works positions into the document.

To date, $49,390.54 has been earned by students working on-campus and paid toward their education. The goal is to serve 600 Sycamores with unmet financial need by providing each students with a job that not only helps fund their college education but also provides at least 300 hours of resume-building work experience.

The State Works Scholarship Program will be the beneficiary of the proceeds raised during the Oct. 20 black-tie optional gala at Hulman Center that will honor Bradley and First Lady Cheri Bradley for their service to the university.

"It will be a night to celebrate with President Bradley as he prepares for his retirement and to support the State Works Scholarship for students," said Amy Roman, special events director for the President's Office.

On Aug. 21, 150 new State Works employees will be welcomed to campus. The second year cohort will work on Career Development Plans and learn how to highlight their accomplishments. A University College course is also being incorporated into the program to help students balance college and work so they make a successful transition to the university.

"Many of our students need to work in order to attend ISU or to avoid extraordinary loan debt. State Works is part of the solution to that need by providing opportunities on campus and a scholarship to help with books," said President Dan Bradley, who initiated the scholarship to help alleviate the cost of a higher education for students and parents. "Campus employers can serve in part as mentors and in many cases accommodate class schedules that can be difficult for a general employer."

State Works is about more than a paycheck for students, like Rodriguez, who have developed skills that transcended academic life.

"Learning to be able to efficiently and effectively complete tasks has trained me to get a head start on all my assignments," she said. "Watching my superiors map out their days as well as their as asking me to create schedules for the work place has produced a diligent student with much better time management skills then she had in high school. But the factor that has most affected my educational career is the fact that my work place environment has forced me to step out of my comfort zone and create new networks on the daily. Without State Works, I wouldn't know half the students, staff and faculty that I know today."

For more information on the State Works program or to donate, go to

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or