What inspired Ruth Rubio and Larry Sclerandi to create a scholarship
“You know the old phrase ‘we stand on other people’s shoulders?’ We want to be those shoulders for someone. This fellowship gives us the opportunity to make an impact on other people’s lives and promote the ideal of community we believe in. I want to offer an opportunity to families that may be in a position I have been in, where the children are the first generation to attend a university. I benefitted from a scholarship while attending the School of Social Work’s graduate program and feel very fortunate for that. I also feel a responsibility to pay back and support the next generation of students so that they may have the same opportunities that I did. Not too long ago, we received a wonderful letter from the first recipient of the scholarship, telling us about his work, interests, and appreciation for the help we gave him. This letter really sent me over the edge, it made me feel like this is working!”– Ruth
“Ruth teaching at the School of Social Work opened up my eyes to the need in our society. I’ve always had a humanitarian streak, but Ruth’s work has definitely enhanced it. I have seen her students placed in communities where there exists a lot of inequality, and that has left a really strong impression on me. Ruth and I are the first generation in our family to graduate from a university, so we both value education. Both of our children have been recipients of scholarships, and we have instilled in them the value of giving back to the community. Last year we went to visit our daughter in San Diego, where she was volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. My daughter had the idea that we could all volunteer together during our visit, and so Ruth, my daughter, and I drove outside of San Diego and helped with the construction of a house. It was great! There’s a lot of need in our society. Starting a fellowship through the School of Social Work is a great way for us to help out.” –Larry
About Ruth and Larry: Ruth Rubio was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, and moved to Austin to attend St. Edward’s University. She later earned a master’s degree from the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. Ruth was part of the clinical faculty at the School of Social Work, where she taught in field education. She also helped create the first Maymester program, the “London Maymester focused on social and Economic Justice.” Larry Sclerandi is from Port Arthur, Texas, and attended The University of Texas at Austin as an undergraduate to study architecture. From 1969-71, Larry volunteered through the Peace Corps in Morocco. He eventually returned to Austin, where he worked for the city as an architect. Larry and Ruth met while working for the City of Austin.
About their scholarship: The Ruth J. Rubio and L.V. Sclerandi, Jr. Endowment provides scholarships to undergraduate students in the School of Social Work. Preference is given to seniors with demonstrated financial need who are first-generation college students, and are participating in field practicum while working on their Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. If the field practicum is no longer required to receive the BSW degree, then preference shall be given to seniors pursuing a degree in the School of Social Work who are first-generation college students and demonstrate financial need.