Higher education’s preeminent goal involves helping students thrive and find ways to reach their highest potential. The University of Akron scholarship campaign brings the best and brightest young minds from near and far. These young people join the University in search of new knowledge; about the world in which they will enter and about themselves. Scholarship assistance is a necessary step to ensure a seamless educational progression, preparing students for the opportunities of a new day, that lead to success as real-world professionals.
Maxwell Nixon is an outstanding example of scholarship success. As a young boy, he watched his parents’ actions, how they worked hard and demonstrated how to save money for future goals. He took those examples as his own template to chart his life path. Today, he is the inaugural recipient of the Charles Schwab Foundation Endowed Scholarship for Financial Planning at The University of Akron. The University was one of seven schools selected to partner with the Charles Schwab Corporation in a $3.5 million endowed scholarship initiative to increase the pipeline of diverse talent in the financial services industry. The program will provide financial assistance and career opportunities to students from underrepresented communities. The firm made the commitment to the endowment, funded through the Charles Schwab Foundation, last year.
Known to his friends as “Max,” the 20-year-old bi-racial student says being the first scholarship recipient hasn’t totally set in yet. “It’s a big honor to represent The University of Akron, to even be considered for something like this. I’m very happy and want to represent UA well.”
Max is a 3.5 GPA student double major financial planning a risk management and insurance. Born in Canton, he moved to Akron at age one with his family. A focused young man, he held several jobs in high school, with the goal of paying for college. Max says his goal is to graduate college debt-free. “I’ve watched my parents work hard for years, take care of their money and seen what it can do for you,” Max says. “I’ve always wanted to emulate that.”
A competitive swimmer for more than 13 years, Max is a swim coach for the Firestone High School recreation swim team, working with children ages 6-14. He also teaches swimming individually, as well as having worked at Portage Country Club as an assistant pool manager. This past summer he worked as a roofer and as a Door Dash driver.
In terms of career direction, Max wants to help others manage resources successfully. “My goal is to help people set up their own finances and assets, so that they have more control over their own lives. What I start, I put my all into. I love to learn. Always been about learning new things. Financial planning is a growing field, that will expand in the next 20 years. I’m particularly interested in helping underrepresented communities.”
Earning the scholarship is a huge relief, Max says, adding that the assistance will allow him to reduce his workload and increase his concentration on his studies.
“It helps in a lot of ways, believe me. I’m the oldest of three (children) in my family and I never wanted my parents to have worry about helping me, although they’ve done so.”
Max says he’s probably most excited about the scholarship’s option that allows him to interview for a 10-week internship position with Schwab next summer in either Florida or Arizona.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to learn more about how the industry really works and makes change happen. I excited that I get to be a part of this.”
Under the Schwab program underrepresented students at partner universities are eligible to apply for approximately $10,000 a year in scholarship funding. In addition to the two-year scholarship, recipients are invited to apply for and participate in an internship at Schwab, which could help inspire a future career in finance.
The other participating universities include Arizona State, Purdue, Temple, Texas Tech, University of Arizona, and Virginia Polytechnic and State University.
“We believe programs like our scholarship endowment can make a meaningful impact by creating educational opportunities, which can help break down barriers and open new possibilities,” says Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation and senior vice president of Charles Schwab & Co. “It’s important that our workforce mirrors the diversity of our clients and communities in which we work. And that starts with providing encouragement and support to more underrepresented students as they explore college majors, including financial planning.”
“We are pleased to have developed strong partnerships with reputable and established companies such as The Charles Schwab Corporation that provide amazing opportunities and support for our students,” says UA President Gary L. Miller. “The financial services industry and this endowed scholarship will assist students for many years to come.”