Nancy Rutoh is beginning her sophomore year at St. Olaf College, and plans to become an engineer. Learn more about how Nancy’s network with Wallin Education Partners and Boston Scientific have helped her towards that goal here.

Nancy Rutoh, 2016 Boston Scientific Scholar



“I have more today than I ever thought I would have, and the Wallin program has truly been a source of my success. Wallin continues to be a source of support for the community providing resources for people that come from where I come from, look like I look, and dream for what is my reality.  One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from this experience is to always pay it forward. …I am inspired to give back to organizations that have served me along my journey and have a personal goal to contribute double what Wallin donated to me.”  Read more of Jason’s story here.

Jason Johnson, 2003 Wallin Family Scholar

“When the news arrived that I had been selected to receive a Wallin Scholarship, I was thrilled.  The recognition that came along with receiving the scholarship was a huge motivator for me.  It really justified all the hard work I’d put into balancing both my academic work and life outside of school.  While I was excited, I didn’t realize at the time how big of an impact this would have on my life.” Read the rest of Meghan’s story here

Meghan Johnson, 2005 Wallin Family Scholar

“Upon my acceptance into the Wallin Education Partners program, I felt grateful and full of joy.  As the first in my family to attend a four-year private college, I was grateful I didn’t have to take out loans and most of all, I didn’t have to ask my parents for help to pay for any additional expenses (room and board, transportation, parking, etc).

No matter the circumstances, I would not have let cost prevent me from pursuing my education.  I believe that with education, I will be more successful in the future.  In addition to the financial support provided by the Wallin Education Partners program, being a Scholar makes me feel like I’m not alone.  I always have someone looking after me when I’m feeling down.  The Wallin Advisors are always there to help me resolve a problem (big or small) and they have connected me with other Scholars and faculty members on campus, as well as local industry leaders.  Wallin Education Partners is not just a scholarship; it’s more like a community, a family, who look out for each other.”  Read more of Vang’s story here: Vang Xiong Story.

Vang Xiong, 2012 Eric Scholar

tenzin-kunzal“Walllin Education Partners not only offered me financial support, it also provided a support system I did not anticipate needing in college. Going from an urban public high school to a private liberal arts college in small-town Minnesota was one of the hardest transitions I experienced. It affected my emotional well being and my academic performance. My Wallin advisor kept me accountable for my grades and provided a listening ear that was undeniably valuable for my growth.”

Tenzin Kunsal, Holman Scholar, 2009

wallin_annual_dinner_20160b1a7986-copyMalik Day is beating the odds each day. One of eight children, Malik is the first in his family to graduate from high school and go to college.  His journey of getting to college meant overcoming homelessness, waking up at 4:30 am each day to work to help his family with rent and food along with striving to get excellent grades and be involved in various school activities.  He knew going to college could be a difference-maker for him and his family, but having the money to go to college was simply out of reach.  So Malik set about to do everything he could to make that dream a reality. Continue reading.

Malik Day, 2013 General Mills Scholar


“My name is Mohamed Abdihalim. I am a radiologist with St Paul Radiology. I am so grateful that there are people like the Wallins in this world.  Mr. Winston Wallin had a vision and a goal. He knew the power of education in uplifting people from their situations and building better communities. He and Maxine Wallin worked on that vison and as a result there are thousands of young people in the Twin Cities that have benefited from that. My wife and I are among them. This program has not only helped me pay some of the college expenses but more importantly provided mentoring and advice that was equally helpful.

I was fortunate enough to be a Wallin Scholar in college. My advisor through the Wallin program offered a lot of advice and checked in on me in college. Over the years, I have seen many friends and former Wallin Scholars who have gone on to do great things in their communities, including my wife who has a master’s degree and works with people with disabilities. This program gives people the tools to better themselves which is one of the best gifts you can give someone. I am proud to have been part of it.”

Mohamed Abdihalim, Wallin Family Scholar, 2000 



Elizabeth Juarez Diaz is a current St. Catherine University student on her way to becoming a doctor. Elizabeth describes the difference being a Wallin Education Partners scholar has made in her life. Read the full story here. 

Elizabeth Juarez Diaz, 2013 Medtronic Wallin Scholar



“In 2010 after 4 long years and many ups and downs I became the first in my family to graduate from college. There were several times throughout my college career where I did not think I would get to graduate. Wallin Education Partners not only gave me the chance at a college education but they also allowed me to grow as an individual.  I can safely say that without the support of Wallin Education Partners and my Wallin advisor, I would not have met my goal of obtaining a college degree and my life would not be what it is now.”

Victor Sanchez Castro, 2006 Wallin Family Scholar  


A recent alumnus of the University of Minnesota, Kohlman Thompson describes his struggles as a first-generation college student through spoken word. Click here to see a video he and two volunteers created to tell his story.

Kohlman Thompson, 2012 Wallin Family Scholar




alexis“Wallin Education Partners made the culture shock of transitioning to college as easy as possible for me. They really embody the word “partners”. They aren’t only an organization that gives students scholarships but they partner with their scholars to make this experience the best it can be. College is hard, especially for a first-generation college student like myself but the Wallin program made it a lot easier and a lot of fun.”

Alexis Yeboah, 2008 Wallin Family Scholar 

Scholar Graduate Patrice Howard’s story started in North Minneapolis: 

patrice-photoI grew up in North Minneapolis. My father made the decision to move our family here, from Chicago, when I was 2 ½ years old. The move was an improvement, though we were still living in a poverty stricken home and neighborhood. My family offered love and compassion, they tried hard, but still there were evenings we didn’t know if food would be on the table, much less how to navigate the complexities of the education system.

Early on (around the age of 5), I knew this wasn’t the life I wanted to live in adulthood. I started connecting with people at church and asking about programs and activities. I was always doing something. By age 10, I was an avid and frequent volunteer. Participating in programs and activities allowed me access to necessities – food and snacks, but the involvement also gave me access to positive adult role models. It is with these things, I started to build my foundation. I always kept saying to myself “I’m going to learn as much as possible”. Read the rest of her story here.

“Throughout my time at the University of St. Thomas, the encouragement from my advisor during our one-on-one meetings made me feel at home, as if I was talking to an aunt I never had. Without Wallin Education Partners, my education would have been much more of a financial burden. But with the thought of financial debt mitigated by the generous scholarship, I was able to graduate cum laude with two bachelors degrees and the Boren and Fulbright scholarships, two very competitive national scholarships. I am proud to call myself a Wallin alumnus.”

2008 Wallin Family Scholar