In 2005, Robert Carr gave a generous gift to Princeton Day School (PDS), an independent  school in Princeton, NJ, as part of his Give Something Back scholarship program. The gift allowed promising students who faced economic adversity the opportunity to attend PDS without cost for tuition. Here’s how that gift changed the course of one young woman’s life.

Can you identify a moment that defined your life? For many of Give Something Back’s alumni, it was the day they learned they were chosen as a scholarship recipient.

One of those recipients, Annie Nyce, remembers that moment as clear as day — even though it was over 10 years ago in April of 2006.

Annie’s dream had always been to attend a prestigious private school — a school that challenged her academically, offered more extra-curricular activities to expand her interests, had smaller class sizes in which she could contribute, and provided strong alumni networks. But like many students who come from a modest background, an acceptance letter from one of these institutions would not be enough.

Sure she had the grades, however Annie’s family lacked the financial resources that would allow her the opportunity to attend an independent high school.

But on that day in April 2006 Robert Carr, founder of Give Something Back, changed that for Annie by presenting her with a full financial scholarship to attend Princeton Day School (PDS).

Annie opened the scholarship acceptance letter and she immediately felt a whole new world opening up before her. The gift of a better education would change the course of her life. She would be introduced to new challenges, relationships, and new opportunities — all of which she is reminded of to this day.

“Had I not been awarded the Give Something Back scholarship to Princeton Day School,” says Annie, “I would have never met my best friend Molly. Molly brought Rollins College to my attention and that is where I ultimately submitted my application and it is where I received my undergraduate degree last spring.”

In many ways, Rollins reminded Annie of PDS. “Perhaps this is why I chose to enroll there. I was attracted to the close-knit community and roundtable discussion as opposed to large lecture halls. The campus also provided an abundance of ways for me to get involved.”

And get involved she did — all with the intention that she’d someday give back herself.

“If I hadn’t been so intent on giving back, I would have never lived out the depth of my leadership potential. I would not be able to say I was elected back-to-back terms as the President of the Executive Board of the Panhellenic Council (an umbrella organization for international women’s fraternities and sororities), nor the Director of Events, while an active member of Kappa Delta.”

Had Annie not learned to be an independent learner and manage her time well at PDS, she admits, “the prestigious Crummer Graduate School would have never dared employ a freshman as their work study student.”

Furthermore, Annie notes that Morgan Stanley would have never promoted her from a mere intern to an associate within four months had it not been for her courage to take risks and the organizational skills she acquired at Princeton Day School.

“April of 2006 is when my story began,” says Annie. “More importantly, it once again demonstrates Robert Carr’s commitment in giving students who come from financially challenged households their ‘big break.’ The impact of Give Something Back will always remain with me. It is what gets me up in the morning; it pushes me to be that more aware of my next opportunity to give back.

“There is no way to thank Mr. Carr and Give Something Back for not only the financial contribution — but also for the resulting achievements that have unfolded in my life,” says Annie. “My story just keeps getting better and better.”