Campus: San Francisco State -- September 3, 2004
Sweden-Bound SFSU Senior Wins $5,000 Scholarship
Finance Major Arlena Winn, Of Sunnyvale, Wins Schoettler Scholarship For
Arlena Winn, a senior majoring in finance at San Francisco State University,
was one of 20 students statewide recently to earn the 2004 Dale M. Schoettler
scholarship for visually impaired students. She will use the $5,000 scholarship
award to cover living and travel expenses as she studies international business
in Sweden during the academic year.
Winn, from Sunnyvale, has Stargardt's disease, an inherited condition that creates
central blind spots that increase in size as the disease progresses, but leaves
peripheral vision intact. She was diagnosed at age 12, but has not let the condition
discourage her from achieving her goals.
"I think I got the scholarship because I am a person with a disability going off
to another country to study," Winn said.
The 24-year-old senior has maintained a 3.2 grade point average and is attending
Vaxjö College in Sweden to study international business for the entire academic
Despite having Stargardt's, Winn played college basketball during her freshman and
sophomore years at Bethune-Cookman, a historically African American college in
"Playing basketball you need your peripheral vision, but you don't necessarily
need your central vision," Winn said. "You just have to be really intuitive."
As a junior, Winn transferred to SFSU and began studying finance with a concentration
in international business. She plans to graduate in 2006, after which she hopes to
work in international finance and travel around the world.
"Arlena has demonstrated tremendous determination and resilience in overcoming
obstacles in order to achieve her goals," said Patti Wright, transitions specialist
in the SFSU Disabilities Programs and Resource Center. "She entered the university
system with purpose, focus and life experience. Arlena has always strived for
academic excellence and I am awed by her courage to embark on the incredible
journey to study abroad in Sweden."
Winn, whose mother is Swedish, plans to learn as much Swedish as possible while
studying there. She has begun studying Swedish books and listening to Swedish
"The Schoettler scholarship money is really going to help me afford this trip,"
Winn said. "I planned to study abroad before I was awarded the scholarship, and
I applied for 12 scholarships in all, so it's really nice to get the Schoettler."
The Dale M. Schoettler scholarship, sponsored by the California State University,
provides assistance for full-time students that are declared legally blind. It is
made possible by a $3.4 million contribution to the CSU system received in 2002
from the estate of Schoettler, a longtime Bay Area resident.
Contact: Matt Itelson, (415) 338-1743; (415) 338-1665;