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First-Generation Student Azhia Brown:


Azhia Brown


Geographically, Azhia Brown hasn’t traveled far—she grew up in Atlanta, went to school at Georgia State, and has now started her career in Atlanta. In terms of personal development, though, she’s gone further than she ever imagined.

“Looking back on who I was at the beginning of my senior year [of high school], I have grown so much,” says Azhia, a first-generation college student now working as a financial analyst for Turner Broadcasting.

Even in high school, though, Azhia knew that going far away to college wasn’t nearly as important as finding a place that was a good fit for her. “I did not want to be at a school that, although it may have had the ‘traditional college experience,’ was in a town where I didn’t see myself building a life,” she explains.

With the help of the John M. Dyer First Generation Finance Scholarship, Azhia was able to attend college in the middle of downtown Atlanta. But she didn’t miss out on the trappings of a “traditional college experience,” either. She worked as an assistant at the student center and then served as director of PR and social media for Campus Events; she was also a resident assistant at University Commons for two years. “Seeing all the freshmen coming in, I was just so involved, and I made a lot of connections,” she says. “It really made me one with the campus.”

Azhia says she’s personally grateful for the Dyer Scholarship because “it meant someone believed in me. Being a first-generation college student, scholarships like this are just something that we talk about, nothing that ever happens to people like me. But now I can say somebody believes in me enough to support what I am doing.”

It’s also having a ripple effect on Azhia’s family, which will soon have a second member in college.

“My parents learned a lot from my experience, too,” she says. “I have a 16-year-old sister who’s gearing up to go to college, and this has helped them start getting her prepared way earlier than I did.”

Believe in a Georgia State Student

Your support gives students like Azhia the confidence to pursue their academic dreams. Contact Natalie Baker at 404-413-3425 or to learn about the many ways you can invest in the education of a Georgia State student.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Georgia State University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Georgia State University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at P.O. Box 3965 Atlanta, GA 30302-3965, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the Foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Foundation as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Foundation as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the Foundation and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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