Making Education Possible for APU Students

Making Education Possible for APU Students

After becoming a widow in 2000, Sandra Wilson was looking for new opportunities to serve the Lord, make friendships, and serve her community. She found it all at Azusa Pacific University. Sandy mentors in the Heart-to-Heart program, serves on the Scholarship Auxiliary Committee, and traveled with APU to Branson, Alaska, and Mexicali. But her favorite ministry at APU is giving to the students.

"I appreciate Sandy's heart," said Dennette Miramontes, associate director of estate planning. "She gives because of her sincere love for God and deep commitment to His work. She is one of the most generous people I know." She's also among the savviest. As a financial planner, Sandy Wilson putsher money where her faith is. Through charitable gift annuities and her bequest, she invests in the Kingdom by supporting Azusa Pacific University.

What financial planners do with their money says a lot about return on investments (ROIs). What Christian financial planners do with their money speaks about a different kind of ROI-return of investments. "I analyze things by numbers, and APU is a great investment," said Sandy. "My gift annuities provide a good source of income at a good level-more, in fact, than current CD and dividend rates. But even if that weren't the case, I weigh this investment by so much more than numbers. I know that I am serving God and the students." Helping college students finance their education holds deep meaning for Sandy, who was unable to afford tuition for a four-year higher education.

With no grants, loans, or scholarships to help, she went to work and took classes at a local college. After years of plugging away, she eventually earned her degree, teaching credential, and advanced degree. Now, she helps others facing the same struggle. "There are a lot of gifted and talented students with limited resources," she said. "This is my way of making education possible for them. I want to make it easier for as many students as possible." Keenly aware that supporting Christian higher education is one of the soundest investments she can make, Sandy counts Azusa Pacific as an ideal partner. She believes APU provides not only that valuable college experience, but the invaluable opportunity for global exposure as well. "So much poverty and suffering exists throughout the world, and APU addresses it head on," she said. "These students have incredible opportunities to study abroad and experience other cultures firsthand so they can apply what they learn in meaningful and relevant ways. I see so many talented students learning how to use their gifts for God both directly and indirectly."

One student in particular made a lasting impression on Sandy. "I mentored an APU student from Alaska and am amazed at the life lessons we both learned," she said. "Over the years, we talked about countless important issues and journeyed together on a quest for truth and meaning." Sandy and her gifts clearly multiply the Kingdom's resources in myriad of unseen ways-an undeniable return of investment. Those who understand that all money is God's and that He entrusts it to those who will spend it wisely and give it generously, realize that it is a gift, and we are expected to be stewards.