As a former scholarship recipient, Daniel Schoon (BSED ’17, BS ’17) understands the importance of private support for fellow Bulldogs.
Daniel Schoon (BSED ’17, BS ’17) is a data analyst at an IT consulting firm. As a young alumnus of the College of Education, he gives to his alma mater to help fellow Bulldogs reach their dreams.
Daniel supports the Mary Frances Early College of Education Endowment Fund to provide current students like Marques Dexter (MS ’09) with the same financial resources he received as a student.
Not only is Marques a Ph.D. student, he’s also an alumnus and a donor. Together, Marques and Daniel are making a difference and changing the world. One at a time.
“I am very grateful and I haven’t forgotten. I want to give back to the College of Education just as they gave to me when I was a student.”
Daniel Schoon (BSED ’17, BS ’17), a College of Education (COE) young alumnus, is a data analyst at Advocate, an IT consulting firm he heard about through a COE career consultant. He helps clients save money on their technology investments, then invests those savings in other assets that can help accomplish their business goals.
Daniel learned many lessons during his time at UGA. He says that while he didn’t realize he was networking at the time, simply being involved as a COE ambassador and in school organizations allowed him to meet people and build valuable friendships, many of which he has been able to leverage for career opportunities. He learned time management skills, how to prioritize, and balance his life. “The College of Education opened my eyes to different opportunities and showed me the best way to showcase myself as a person and as an employee,” Daniel said. He also learned a pivotal lesson at Dawg Camp, where he had his first taste of responsibility in planning and running extended orientation. It taught him that college is a clean slate to be who you want to be, find your passions and pursue them.
While completing his undergraduate degrees, Daniel received four scholarships. Because of this funding, Daniel was able to pay off his student loans right out of college and is now in a position to give back to the university that supported him through his education. “I am very grateful and I haven’t forgotten. I want to give back to COE just as they gave to me when I was a student.” Daniel currently gives to the Mary Frances Early College of Education Endowment Fund, which will provide student scholarships and support diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across campus. Marques Dexter (MS ’09), a current Ph.D. student studying sports management and policy, is now on the receiving end of a scholarship from the College of Education.
Daniel wears his UGA pride everywhere he goes.
Marques has been involved with several different groups on campus.
After attending UGA for his master’s degree in kinesiology, Marques decided to return for his doctorate. As a coach and recruiter, he wanted to be able to research, represent, and be a role model for athletes. He says, “They have these grandiose dreams of being an athlete, but no one tells them they could have a different plan of athletic success. I want to be that.” Thanks in part to his scholarships and the opportunities provided by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI), Marques is involved in numerous campus groups, including Kappa Alpha Psi, Graduate and Professional Students (GAPS), Black Male Leadership Society, COE Ambassador Program, and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Conference. He also served as the program coordinator for the Georgia Movimiento Latino through the Office of Institutional Diversity and the Georgia African American Male Experience program coordinator. He says that this program has given him some of the best memories from his time at UGA, especially when he was part of an event where Latin students and their families were welcomed to the university. “It confirms why I love UGA. They make sure individuals feel like they belong. To play a part in that feels amazing and I was really humbled to have that experience.”
The College of Education and the ODEI have influenced Marques not only academically, but has also allowed him to find his voice. He said, “It’s amazing to be in a place where I am supported. They check on me and encourage me while also treating me like an individual and an individual of color.” The support from his mentors and professors fuels his passions: student success, social justice and equality efforts. He wants to do his part in operationalizing solidarity with marginalized and oppressed groups. “I just really want to affect change and empower others to come together, live life, be positive, and hold each other accountable for who we are,” said Marques.
Marques receiving a Blue Key Honor Society Award as a UGA student.
Like Daniel, Marques also gives to UGA by donating to the Mary Frances Early College of Education Endowment Fund. “Our university has done so much. For me, whether its $10 or $20, there’s nothing like supporting UGA. I will always give back.” Marques hopes that his gifts will allow students to enjoy their time without financial burdens, just as he’s been able to, and provide opportunities. In addition to providing scholarship support, the Mary Frances Early Endowment Fund also devotes resources to sharing Mary Frances Early’s message of civility, equality, and empowerment.
The naming of the College of Education in honor of Mary Frances Early is particularly special to Marques as he was able to work with Early within GAPS, the ODEI, and COE. He describes her as a beacon of light and is always grateful to be in her presence. When speaking about their time together, Marques reminisces, “Not only are you learning history, but you are in the presence of history.”