Jessica Dempsey ’12 Scholarship for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Criteria:($500.00 award) The Jessica Dempsey ’12 Scholarship for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will be awarded to a hard-working entrepreneurial student with an interest in starting a business while attending WSU. The qualified candidate should provide a short essay attesting to the need for this scholarship.
Jessica Dempsey ’12 wants to give budding student entrepreneurs at Worcester State University the option to fail—a luxury she didn’t have while building her own part-time business as a student. So even though she’s just starting out in her professional career, she has donated money for a scholarship to support students who have a great idea for a business, but lack the financial safety net needed to take risks in the business world.
“I had to do it on my own—if I failed, I was homeless,” said Dempsey of her student entrepreneurial career. “I didn’t have a cushion, and I want to give that cushion to other student entrepreneurs. You’re frightened to try bold things when you don’t have a safety net. “
Dempsey is fulfilling a promise she made after receiving a scholarship while a business major at WSU. She had returned to college to pursue a lifelong dream to start a business, despite already holding an English degree from a local private college and being saddled with over $100,000 in student loan debt. When she entered WSU, she was unemployed, living under the poverty line and responsible for her own additional educational expenses.
She still remembers the feeling of confidence that came after she was awarded the Olive Lutz Borgatti Scholarship in 2010.
“I met the donors of my scholarship and they said my essay blew them away. It felt so good to be noticed, and it gave me my competitive spirit back,” said Dempsey. “I said, as soon as I can, I will give back to a student like myself. It has always been number one on my list of things to do.”
While a student, Dempsey started a sports blog called ProFootballChick.com, taking advantage of her love of football and the written word. She started gathering a following and then changed the blog’s name to ProSportsChick.com as she branched out to writing about other sports. As her blog gained popularity, she was able to monetize it with advertisements, and then started attracting perks, such as an all-expense-paid trip to the Super Bowl in 2012.
Upon graduation, she secured a job at Raytheon, which led to her current position at MITRE in Financial Project Management—the day job that funds many of the other creative entrepreneurial ideas she is still pursuing.
The Jessica Dempsey ’12 Scholarship for Entrepreneurship and Innovation could provide seed money for a business idea, or serve as an emergency fund to help put food on the table. Just as she was able to meet her scholarship’s donor, Dempsey hopes that she can provide mentorship to the student who wins her scholarship