Gift of Hope Scholarship Recipients Are Examples of How and Why the Church Invests in the Future through Education

Published On: September 19, 2017

Alexis Bazydola and Paul Tribble are recipients of the Rev. Dr. Karen Layman Gift of Hope Scholarship and examples of the why the investment in the education and development of our future leaders is a priority for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM). The scholarship is one of 70+ administered by the Office of Loans and Scholarships at GBHEM.

The goal of the Gift of Hope Scholarship is to award those connected to The United Methodist Church through their local churches, campus ministries, annual conferences or relevant social justice projects. Gift of Hope awards undergraduate leaders of the church with $1,000 scholarships annually.

“The financial support of the Gift of Hope Scholarship is great and is helping me to stay on track with graduating debt-free,” Bazydola said. “The scholarship definitely impacts both my present and future life. It allows me to save money so that I will have enough for tuition, books and things of that nature,” explained Tribble. “It also helps set me up in a positive financial situation after college. Any scholarship I receive helps me stay debt-free throughout my time in college.”

Bazydola and Tribble, active with their home church, Lebanon First United Methodist Church, in Tennessee and on campus, each plan to use their education and talent to make an impact in the world and United Methodist Church.

Bazydola, a sophomore majoring in business management at the University of Connecticut and two-time recipient of the Gift of Hope, is not only committed to her education but also to continued service to the church. She serves on the design team for Youth 2019, a quadrennial event that gathers youth from around the country for discipleship, fun and fellowship through interactive learning, worship, bible study and service opportunities.

With a goal of working in sports management within the National Hockey League, the scholarship helps to put her one step closer to her dream career. “I’ve wanted to work in hockey for years,” Bazydola explained. “My dad is from New England so I searched for schools with my program track near hockey teams. I’ve had an opportunity to work with my school’s hockey team and intern with the Nashville Predators.”

Tribble, a junior mechanical engineering major at Tennessee Technological University, is very active with the Wesley Foundation on campus. He is a part of the Wesley basketball team and serves as a bible study leader at Wesley. “After college, I plan on using my mechanical engineering degree to get a job, hopefully in Nashville, so that I can continue to live around Lebanon. I also plan to continue working in my local church, possibly getting involved in the youth group there,” he said.

The Office of Loans and Scholarships at GBHEM continuously works to make the process of applying for scholarships easy and convenient for students. “My application process and the online system was simple and straightforward. When I had questions, they were answered quickly and thoroughly by the office staff,” said Bazydola. Tribble added, “I had a great experience, and I did not have any issues with the process of applying or receiving the award!”

Administering more than $5 million annually in scholarships and low-interest loans throughout the church, GBHEM is one resource for financial support available to United Methodists pursuing education. “When preparing for school, I applied for scholarships through my church, my annual conference and several community resources in addition to GBHEM,” said Bazydola. “We know that college is not cheap, so I encourage everyone to apply for as many scholarships as you can.”

To learn more about the scholarship offerings through GBHEM and how you can support students like Bazydola and Tribble, visit To donate to the scholarship funds, visit or send a donation to GBHEM Loans & Scholarships, 1 Music Circle North, Nashville, TN 37203.

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call in their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.

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