Featured Testimonial About Creighton University
“I was so excited when I saw the scholarship listed. Although there’s really no way for me to repay everything that the gift has done for me, I understand that every little bit helps. It’s important to me to pay it forward in whatever little bit I can."
By Nichole Jelinek
Sixteen years after graduating from Creighton, Jessica St. Clair Muñoz says she is still in awe.
“It’s interesting how inspiring a scholarship can be when you realize someone saw potential in you-- potential that warranted such a significant and generous investment. I still think about this a lot. It’s not an exaggeration to say the scholarship was life changing.”
Muñoz, a 2005 School of Law graduate, was the recipient of the Frances Ryan Diversity Scholarship. The scholarship, both the financial element and the community it symbolized to Muñoz, was a deciding factor for her to enroll at Creighton.
“Knowing all of the options people have for donating their money and that they chose to invest in a scholarship fund, and ultimately in me, it’s kind of head-spinning when you stop and think about it that way.”
In March Muñoz was reintroduced to the Frances Ryan Diversity Scholarship, not as a recipient, but as a donor. The scholarship was one of a number of campaigns on Creighton’s 4th annual day of giving. Muñoz was among the nearly 2,900 alumni, faculty, students, and friends who came together to make 2021 Creighton’s biggest Giving Day to date.
“I was so excited when I saw the scholarship listed. Although there’s really no way for me to repay everything that the gift has done for me, I understand that every little bit helps. It’s important to me to pay it forward in whatever little bit I can.”
Giving Day is a 24-hour online fundraising event that gives the Creighton community the chance to support areas of campus most meaningful to them. Over the last few months, Muñoz says she has been thinking a lot about the Ryan Scholarship.
“I went to law school with the notion that I wanted to help people, especially children and vulnerable populations. Scholarship gave me confidence and security that I would be able to do the type of work that I wanted to do in in the legal field. I found my calling and each day experience the impact of the gift.”
Muñoz is the executive director for Voices for Children in Riverside County, California. Voices for Children transforms the lives of abused, abandoned, or neglected children by providing them with trained, volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates.
“There is too much work and too much need for one person to address alone. I’ve learned that working in a community-based way, applying innovative ways to achieve our desired outcomes for vulnerable populations, and to continue engaging others in our mission is how I can make a difference.”
To work with children and to be of service to others is all that Muñoz has ever wanted to do.
“I hope that through the work I’ve done and will continue to do that I have I amplified the impact of the Frances Ryan Scholarship and have lived up to her legacy.”
The late Frances Ryan came to Creighton in 1973 as the first female professor in the School of Law. She was known as a trailblazer and a champion for diversity.