Your Legacy Lives on Through Me
December 12, 2012
Kalli Wyatt was a senior in high school when she started the exciting yet arduous task of applying to colleges. As she and her friends envisioned entering the next phase of their lives together, Kalli put on a brave front, suppressing the worry and doubt that plagued her thoughts.
“Our family was going through some pretty tough times,” Kalli, the oldest of five children, recalls. “My parents were not in a position to help me pay for college; they couldn’t contribute anything—not even money for food, clothing, or housing. As difficult as it was for them to admit, we knew that I had only myself to rely on.”
Or so she thought.
“I couldn’t help but think that there were students more deserving than me”
Despite the anticipated challenges of funding her college education, Kalli submitted applications to several schools, including Brigham Young University. “I never really thought that I would get into BYU, and, if by some small chance I did get accepted, I had no idea how I was going to pay for everything.”
Kalli says her mother encouraged her to apply and to have faith. “She told me that we would pray for a miracle. So I moved forward with my online application.” Just as she was about to hit the submit button, Kalli says she felt compelled to review the scholarship options one more time. “I had looked at the list before, but this time my eyes were drawn to the Frank B. and Carolyn D. Newman Endowed Scholarship.” Kalli continues: “It pretty much described my situation. I had just graduated from Bountiful High School, one of the three high schools in Davis County, Utah, specified in the scholarship, and I was also in need of financial assistance — another requirement.” With her mother’s charge to have faith still fresh in her mind, the Cougar hopeful filled out the scholarship application, penned an additional essay, and said a prayer as she hit “submit.”
“As optimistic as I am, I couldn’t help but think that there were students more deserving than I was.”
“This is the best day ever”
As time went by, Kalli had mostly put BYU out of her mind. “My dad and I drove down to tour one of the colleges I had applied to,” recalls Kalli. “It was a perfectly fine place, and a lot of my friends were going there, but it just didn’t feel right.”
Then, one summer day she and her friends stopped to have lunch after her lacrosse practice. “We were sitting in McDonald’s, and I checked my phone. I couldn’t believe it: I had an email informing me that I had been accepted to BYU and that I had received the Newman Scholarship. I started crying and yelled, “This is the best day ever!”
Kalli says the minute she stepped foot on campus she knew everything would work out. “This is the third year in a row that I’ve been blessed to receive the Newman Scholarship. That, combined with my job at the Missionary Training Center, has made my burden lighter, and it has also reinforced my desire to give back and to do my best.”
“It is never too late to make a positive and lasting impact on someone’s life.”
“I was afraid of applying to college for fear of rejection and of not being able to afford it,” Kalli says. “My parents taught me that I should never let a situation keep me from becoming the person I should become. And the Newmans, through their gift, have taught me that it is never too late to make a positive and lasting impact on someone’s life. My life is forever changed, and all those I come in contact with will benefit from the gift that the Newmans have given me.”
When asked what she would say to convince potential donors to consider investing in BYU, its faculty, and its students, Kalli says it’s simple: “Your gift will change a life for good.”
Help others get a healthy start in life
Partnering with LDS Philanthropies, the Newman family left a planned gift to BYU, which made them members of the Jesse and Amanda Knight Society. Their donation affords students like Kalli an opportunity to live their dreams. For Kalli, that means one day running a camp to help kids suffering from depression and anxiety find comfort and healing in the beauty that surrounds them.
To learn how you can be the answer to someone’s prayer and change a life for good, please email the Planned Giving Officeor call 800-525-8074.