Carrie O'Dell Pays It Forward
Carrie O’Dell (BA '11) grew up calling Tulsa, Oklahoma home. When she moved in 2007 to attend BYU, Tulsa continued to have an impact on her life. While at BYU she turned her love of art into a bachelor’s degree in Advertising with a minor in Visual Arts. However, although things were going well in the classroom, O’Dell soon faced a major challenge to her education.
During her sophomore year, O’Dell’s family back in Tulsa faced financial hardship, which affected the help she received for her education. While unsure about her next steps, her Tulsa bishop’s wife told her that BYU Alumni Chapter replenishment grants were available countrywide.
The BYU Chapter in Tulsa stepped in and gave O’Dell much needed help in paying for her schooling. This program allowed O’Dell to stay at BYU without taking money from her financially-stretched family. Her education continued and she had amazing opportunities with BYU’s AdLab as well as an important internship with a marketing group in Manhattan, New York. In 2011 O’Dell graduated from BYU and immediately moved back to Tulsa, where she got a job as a Graphic Designer with ResourceOne.
Now, having been back home in Tulsa for six years, O’Dell is paying it forward. When grant recipients graduate and are financially able, they will help replenish the grant's funds so that other students can receive the same aid they did. O’Dell is at the point where she is not only contributing to the replenishment fund, but becoming involved with the same BYU Tulsa Chapter that helped her with her education. “I was given so much at BYU. I am happy to give back in some way, no matter how small, in order to give someone else from the Tulsa area the opportunity for a BYU education,” O’Dell says. She, like so many others, has enjoyed the BYU experience with the aid of others – and is happy to help others do the same.