California State University, Stanislaus student Sherry G. Hill has been homeless. At 49, she’s been divorced and mothered five children – whom she was separated from, for a time. She’s been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. She’s also an honors student.
And, now, she’s been named one of 23 William R. Hearst/CSU Trustee’s Awards of Outstanding Achievement recipients statewide.
"These extraordinary student scholars exemplify strength, perseverance through adversity, dedication to learning and commitment to others," said Ali C. Razi, CSU trustee emeritus. "The leadership through service demonstrated by these scholars inspires deep respect on CSU campuses and within the community.”
The honor is awarded to those who have a demonstrated financial need, have experienced personal hardships, and have superior academic performance, exemplary community service, and significant personal achievements. The award is among the highest forms of recognition for student achievement in the CSU system.
Hill received not only $3,000 from the Hearst/CSU Trustees’ award like the other 22 recipients, but was also named the only recipient of the CSU System’s 50th Anniversary Scholarship, bringing her total to $5,000.
Hill started college after her marriage of 27 years ended. She became homeless and lived out of her car for nearly a year following the divorce – while attending college. Hill holds a 4.0 GPA in her major of communications, having overcome homelessness, bi-polar disorder, and birth defects which led to several surgeries at a young age to do so.
“All of this has imprinted upon me the vulnerability of human life,” Hill said.