When Theresa Bustanoby saw the impact the Ratcliffe Scholarship program had on her daughter Tia, she was inspired to begin her own entrepreneurial journey.
Tia joined the Entrepreneurial Studies Institute (ESI) and the Ratcliffe Scholarship Program in 2017 to help expand her photography and media strategy company. Supported by ESI’s large network and strong community connections, Tia graduated from AACC and transformed her small business into a big success.
Theresa, inspired by Tia’s journey, decided to give the Ratcliffe Scholarship Program a shot herself. She used her scholarship funds to explore counseling, mentorship and entrepreneurship coursework. Through her exploration, she found AACC’s Life and Engagement Coaching program. After graduating in May 2022, Theresa has been growing her own life coaching business.
As AACC and Ratcliffe alumni, both Theresa and Tia remember the program as a transformative force on their entrepreneurship journeys. For Tia, it opened doors to marketing, trade shows and extensive networks within the community.
Theresa found herself deeply connected to the values instilled by the Ratcliffe Scholarship program and found a supportive community. The sense of belonging and the network of like-minded peers proved invaluable. She emphasizes the impact of this scholarship on her journey.
“I’m always telling people about (the Ratcliffe Scholarship program) that are talking about having their own business. It is invaluable to younger entrepreneurs that are just getting started.”