Scholarship Extends Family’s Commitment to Learning

Christopher Savoy, M.S., R.T.(R)(T)
Mar. 1, 2017

Christopher SavoyLike many people in the American South, my great-grandparents were poor sharecroppers struggling to raise a family during the Great Depression. At a time when most children were dropping out of school to work in the fields, my great-grandfather understood the importance of education and was adamant that his children would be educated. He worked from dawn until dusk to ensure that his daughter, my grandmother, could earn her high school diploma.

My grandmother, and my grandfather, in turn, instilled that same value of education in my father, and he became the first person in our family to earn a college degree. My father became a successful mechanical engineer who regularly reminded me that the life he provided our family was possible because of a quality education. He taught me the value of perseverance and continual education, which made me want to go one step further in the family tradition and be the first person in my family to earn an advanced degree.

I had worked as a medical imaging technologist for four years and a radiation therapist for two when I decided to return to school. I was happy in my job, but I wanted to continue to grow and learn in the profession, and the facility where I worked didn’t offer any opportunity for growth. It seemed like the perfect time to return to school, and I hoped that a master’s degree in radiologic technology would open some new opportunities for me.

Everything was going according to the carefully laid plan I had developed as I prepared to return to school. Then life threw some unexpected obstacles my way. I suffered heartbreaking loss: my two grandparents died, and my wife and I had a miscarriage. The emotional toll of these losses put a strain on my studies, and trying to figure out how to pay tuition only added to my worry.

Fortunately, the two donor-funded scholarships I received from the Foundation during the final two years of my program made a world of difference. Because of the generosity of Foundation donors, I was able to focus on finishing my degree. Without their financial assistance, and their belief in me, I would have been forced to add substantial debt to the list of unexpected stressors affecting my studies. Generous donors empowered me to continue my education and self-development as well as set a positive example for my family to follow, just as my ancestors had done for me.

With my newfound skills and education, I strive to add value to my department at a charity clinic serving the underprivileged population of north Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where I work as an urgent care technologist. I am now working on my new professional goal: to manage a radiology department.

I am grateful to the donors who make scholarships like the ones I received possible. I encourage all of my colleagues to support the opportunities the Foundation offers our professional community. Donors not only helped me follow the path my ancestors paved for me, they also changed my life by helping me to achieve one of my most cherished goals.

If you are a Foundation donor, thank you for your support; I hope that you continue donating to the Foundation. If you are not yet a donor, I hope my story inspires you to contribute to the future of our profession by becoming a donor today. Your generosity will change someone’s life.