$4.6 million endowment helps Flowing Wells students get a college education debt free | Local news



A drive-thru graduation ceremony at Flowing Wells High School. Seventy-five percent of the school’s students live in poverty, said Principal James Brunenkant.




A $4.6 million gift will help Flowing Wells High School graduates further their education with full-ride scholarships to the University of Arizona for the foreseeable future.

The Sandra, Pamela and Polly Aley Scholarship fund, announced Monday, was created with a $4.6 million endowment from Sandra Aley, a 1972 graduate of Flowing Wells High School and a UA alum.

The scholarship was awarded to five inaugural scholars for the current school year. Randall P. Irby Jr., Samantha Guerrero, Alejandra Acedo, Elias Avenente and Asia Raymor will each receive about $28,000 a year covering $12,600 in tuition, plus room and board and other necessities.

“With this scholarship, I feel incredibly blessed to the point that I don’t have to worry about financial burden or financial stress,” said Irby, now a political science student at the UA. “Instead I can pursue a much higher degree … and hope to give back to this wonderful community that I was raised with and brought up in.”

The endowment is named in honor of Aley, her sister Pamela and her mother Polly. Sandra Aley died of pancreatic cancer in January.

The endowment is the largest gift Flowing Wells has received for its students and is intended to help graduates gain higher education without taking on debt. Interest on the endowment provides $184,000 a year for the scholarships, allowing it to continue indefinitely.

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