Jonte Smith

Scholarship Fund Helps Deserving Student

By DeVry University

It’s the kind of late September day in Chicago that locals view as a gift from Mother Nature, mindful that Old Man Winter is right around the corner. It’s 82 degrees, clear blue skies, gentle winds from the west. It’s the perfect day to drive golf carts and tee shots in the name of student success. 

It’s the fifth annual DeVry Education Group Scholarship Fund golf fundraiser.

“Helping students improve their lives through higher education by enabling them, financially, to pursue their academic and career goals is why The Scholarship Fund exists,” explained Tom Babel, Fund chairman. “The camaraderie on the course, plus a little healthy competition, made for a great day of playing for the student success cause.”


Meet Jonté Smith

A round of golf for the betterment of a charitable cause is great. Capping the day by meeting and honoring a deserving scholarship recipient brings that cause to life.

Jonté Smith lives on the south side of Chicago, commuting by train and on foot to DeVry’s Loop campus in the heart of the city. It’s his home-away-from-home and where he’s strategically working to build his future. Taking time from his busy schedule, Smith, joined by proud mother Bridgitte, arrived at the fundraiser as golfers sunk their last putts of the day. Poised and humble, Smith, 24, sat down with Perspectives to share a bit about his past, present and future.

PM: What led you to DeVry?

JS: After high school, I wasn’t ready for college so I travelled. Three years away from home helped bring my future into focus. And since technology was my chosen path, I felt DeVry was the best option…that it would help me achieve my goals.


PM: What are those goals?

JS: Goal one…earn my degree! I’m on track to graduate in 2018 with my bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems. Goal two, which I feel is dependent on goal one, is landing a job with a gaming studio or in software design. I love coding! I’m concentrating in web game programming to further help this become my reality.


PM: You’re halfway through your program. How has your DeVry experience been so far?

JS: I’m the first in my family to go to college, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I’m proud (as is my mom!) of what I’ve accomplished so far at DeVry and feel there’s a solid plan for my growth. It’s the faculty, support staff and me all working together to ‘make it happen.’ Going to school full time and working 25 hours a week isn’t easy. But I’m grateful for it all…the education, plus my first on-campus job, working at the front desk, and now the real-life experience I’m gaining providing IT support in DeVry’s computer lab. I also speak to new students at orientation. I can’t imagine a college experience I’d rather have.


PM: What does earning the Chicago Student Achievement Scholarship mean to you?

JS: The scholarship represents so much more than simply monetary value – which is great, of course! For me, it also means my hard work is acknowledged and supported by DeVry Education Group. It’s motivated me to work even harder to continue to prosper and achieve my goals. With such extraordinary professors and staff backing me, plus this recent financial award, I feel there’s no way I won’t succeed. Knowing DeVry is behind me 100 percent makes me not only a proud scholarship recipient and student, but also an even happier one!


PM: What’s ahead?

JS: Finish school, graduate, get a job, and eventually create a video game and become an entrepreneur. But there’s no rush. School’s great, and my work on campus makes me feel like a valuable team member. For now, I’m happy enjoying the present.


Important Information for Students and Donors

It’s easy to apply for scholarships and even easier to support student success through The DeVry Education Group Scholarship Fund.



The Scholarship Fund, established in 2000, is a separate 501(c)(3) organization that operates independently of the institutions it supports. The number of scholarships offered is directly related to the financial support received.