• NRF and University of Phoenix to award 20 retail workers with 'Dream BIG' scholarships

For a second year, the National Retail Federation and University of Phoenix are providing the opportunity to U.S. retail workers to make their career dreams a reality through the Dream BIG scholarship program. Dream BIG will award 20 full-tuition scholarships for any University of Phoenix bachelor's or master's degree program applicable to retail workers who want to further their professional goals through education. The flexibility of the program will allow recipients to continue to work and live at home while pursuing a degree.

In 2013, hundreds of retail workers from more than 80 companies across the United States applied for the Dream BIG Scholarship, and 10 scholarships were awarded.

"Retail offers richly rewarding and diverse career opportunities to millions of hard-working Americans, and NRF is committed to fostering career growth for those who want to achieve great things in our industry," said NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis. "The stories shared by the 2013 Dream BIG recipients were extremely inspirational, and exemplify the ambition and passion for retail that exists among many industry workers. We’re delighted to double the number of full-tuition scholarships being provided this year."

Daniel White, a 2013 Dream BIG recipient and employee at The Container Store, is pursuing a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. "I am passionate about retail and this program with University of Phoenix has given me a firmer ground to stand on when looking at not just the company I work for but the retail industry as a whole," he said. "Educated leaders will be the key driver in moving the retail industry forward."

The scholarship program is open to any applicant who resides in the U.S. who works full-time or part-time for any retail or restaurant company beginning January 7, 2013. The scholarship opportunity is limited to the first 1,000 qualified applicants who meet all of the eligibility requirements and admissions requirements, and submit a complete application by April 8, 2014. The application includes three short essays that highlight the applicant’s educational goals, aspirations within the industry, and a personal reflection of what inspires them. The applicant must also submit a letter of recommendation from a current retail professional with knowledge of the applicant’s skills and work ethic. For complete scholarship eligibility requirements, terms and conditions visit http://www.phoenix.edu/dream-big.html.  

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