Natalie Monte is paying it forward by giving back.
The Elmhurst College senior and marketing major has donated her earnings from a recent internship back to the College to establish a scholarship.
Monte would like for the $2,500 scholarship to go to another marketing major— someone who will be able to take advantage of the same opportunities she has as a student, with some of the financial worry eased.
“I wanted my scholarship to go toward a business student because the Business Department is where I found my opportunities,” she said. “If the scholarship will cover someone’s books, or part of a loan they won’t have to pay off later, it should ease some of the pressure and benefit someone who really deserves it.”
Monte had just completed an internship/work project for the Village Field Club of LaGrange, implementing a marketing plan that had been developed earlier in the year in her advertising class.
She told her parents she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with the money she’d earned—between scholarships and campus jobs, she was “pretty well set” and didn’t really need the money for herself.
Her father encouraged her to give the money away, to a cause she cared about. Monte is a frequent donor, giving mainly to social justice and global wildlife and environmental organizations. “We have to take care of the world around us and take care of those that don’t have as many advantages as we do,” she said.
This time, she decided to give a lot closer to home. “I saw other students who had real-life issues,” she said. “This way, I could get to see my donation actually helping someone.”
She also wanted to recognize the value of the experience and skills she has gained from her classes and campus job—she currently works as the social media manager for the Elmhurst MBA program, and as a marketing assistant to Associate Professor Kelly Cunningham.
“Elmhurst provided me with endless opportunities for me to push my boundaries and go further than I ever thought I would in college,” she said.
Gary Wilson, chair of the Business Department, was incredulous when he first learned of Monte’s gift.
“I think this is the first time for our department—and I’ve been teaching for 30-plus years— that we’ve had a student do something like this,” he said. “It’s very humbling to me, as a department chair and educator, to have a student hand a check to me when she could’ve used that money herself. To have a student do that when she didn’t need to do it, but because she wanted to do it, is a great thing.”