American gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles recently began her new journey as a college student at the University of the People and she wants to help other foster children such as herself follow the same path.
As a global ambassador for the university, Biles said a namesake scholarship fund will be available to foster children to help them and others achieve their collegiate dreams.
“Being a foster child myself, I know what it means to have the odds stacked against you,” Biles said. “Life circumstances shouldn’t define you or keep you from your goals. I want to help remove barriers that keep a college degree out of reach for those that truly want it.”
Biles, who just began pursuing her bachelor’s degree in business administration, joins over 12,000 students from over 200 countries who have enrolled in the university — including her mother, Nellie, who also commenced her studies in the MBA program.
“I always dreamed of going to college but decided to follow my gymnastics dreams full time, which didn’t make it possible for me,” Biles said. “I had planned to attend UCLA, but had to defer because of my training schedule. University of the People opened up an opportunity, providing the flexibility I need to fit in my studies around my career, and I want to be able to help share that opportunity for others around the world.”
The institution lauds itself as the world’s first nonprofit, accredited American online university to offer tuition-free higher education to qualified students worldwide, despite financial, geographic, political or social constraints.
“We are delighted that Simone has chosen University of the People,” said President Shai Reshef. “It’s time for a new model, where every qualified student has an opportunity to earn a high quality, accessible, affordable college degree. It’s time for an education revolution. Simone’s support of the university is a great milestone toward this endeavor.”