Meet Justin Saunders

Scholarships helped me invest in myself and my future.”  

That’s Justin Saunders, now a college graduate with a degree in psychology, talking about the importance of the scholarships he earned thanks to the St. Louis Community Foundation and its donors. 

“Each year, scholarships established by these donors help change someone’s life like mine because they help make college attainable,” says Justin.  

College seemed a long way away when Justin was in middle school, but he secured his first scholarship in eighth grade as a participant in the Redbird Rookies baseball program.  As he progressed at Ritenour High School, he gained a better understanding of the costs associated with higher education, and his counselor helped point him in the right direction. Justin applied for and received a scholarship funded by the Boniface Foundation through the St. Louis Community Foundation.

“My high school guidance counselor was with me every step of the way,” says Justin. “She encouraged me to go to college fairs and answered all my questions about college and what the experience would be like.”  

Justin went a lot further than out of state, traveling out of the country to Spain where he attended St. Louis University – Madrid. “There’s no way I would have considered anything like SLU Madrid without these scholarships. They made it possible for me,” he says. Nearly half of Justin’s yearly tuition was covered by scholarship awards. 

Looking toward his future, Justin intends to enlist in the military and plans to earn his master’s degree in psychology.  

“If someone can help another person and invest in their future, that investment will always be returned. If you give someone the opportunity to prove themselves, they won’t take it for granted. I’m certainly not!” 


Create a Fund—Change a Life

Are you interested in creating a scholarship fund or contributing to an existing fund? Email Ellen Vietor, Scholarship Manager, at