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Inspired by a mother. Enabled by donors.

Joquita Burka | Office of Creative Services

Freddy PaigeFreddy Paige has a winning smile, a quick mind and an open heart. Even with so much going for him, it took a heart-to-heart with his mother during his high school years to make him see reality. “She told me that I could go to college – no, would go to college — and for that I needed good grades,” said Freddy.

Freddy threw himself into extracurricular activities, enrolled in honors classes and began to explore colleges.

One large impediment remained. As a single mother of two, Freddy’s mother could not help him financially with his college plans.

But, donors had already paved the way for the young civil engineering major. While he was accepted at several large universities, it was the scholarships offered by Clemson that proved the deciding factor.

Pay it forward

For Freddy, Clemson has been a welcome home. “I really found a place in PEER (the Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention through the College of Engineering and Science). Now I’m a mentor to nine PEER underclassmen and work as a tutor most evenings.”

After graduation, Freddy plans to work first as an engineer but to eventually become a high school teacher because that was where his talent was first discovered by teachers and counselors who saw his potential and encouraged him. “I want to tell high school kids,” continued Freddy, “do you want a job or a career? You need to go to college and have a career.”

Freddy also has plans for his mother after his graduation. He wants to help her financially so that she can have her turn at college.

Every year when he contacts the donors to one of his scholarships, Freddy asks them if they are happy with his work. As he said, “I want to make them proud.” There’s no doubt they are.

To support students like Freddy, go to or call 864-656-2121.

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