Going into her second year at Colorado State University, Mahalia Henschel received a phone call that caused her to dance on her bed and sparked a deep appreciation for the power of giving.

The call Henschel received in her Manitou Springs home informed her that she was the recipient of the Reisher Scholarship.

“It was game-changing,” she said. “Because I knew that I was either going to be taking on a lot of debt or going home. So when I received that scholarship call, I felt the weight of the burden come off of my shoulders, and it allowed me to focus on giving back and thriving in this environment.”

The experience spurred Henschel to volunteer to become one of 15 Presidential Ambassadors at CSU, a group of student leaders who represent the Office of the President at events and share their stories to raise awareness on the impact of private giving.

Throughout the last week of January, the Presidential Ambassadors hosted Gratitude Week as a way to recognize those CSU donors. In lieu of their usual in-person campus events, students shared video interviews with donors to demonstrate the impact of private philanthropy on student success and achievement.

Learn more about Gratitude Week and the power of philanthropy by following the Presidential Ambassadors on Instagram.