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Upromise by Sallie Mae Awards Nursing Student $10,000 for College on the ‘Rachael Ray’ Show

Business Wire
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Upromise by Sallie Mae today awarded $10,000 to Jacob Escamilla of Harlingen, Texas-to help him complete his nursing degree at Texas State Technical College. The announcement was part of the Rachael Ray show’s “Thanks a Million” episode that recognized the selfless actions of those in the food service industry.

Jacob Escamilla and Rachael Ray. (Photo: Business Wire)

Jacob Escamilla and Rachael Ray. (Photo: Business Wire)

Jacob was specifically recognized for saving the life of Isaiah, a 3-month old with Down syndrome who was choking while Jacob was on his shift at his local LongHorn Steakhouse in Harlingen. To recognize his kindness, Jacob was rewarded $400 by a local charity, but in turn, Jacob gave the money to baby Isaiah’s mother, Alma Maldonado, believing she needed it more.

“I can’t believe I got to go on the ‘Rachael Ray’ show and get $10,000 for my nursing degree – I’m in shock, this feels unreal!” said Jacob. “I plan to use my degree to help special needs children like Isaiah, and I aspire to get my Master’s to become a nurse practitioner. My dream is to then earn my doctorate. I’m so thankful to Upromise by Sallie Mae for helping me achieve my dream.”

Jacob and his wife are both full-time students, as well as parents, providing for their one-year-old son while working full time jobs and going to school. Earlier this year, Jacob received the Team Member of the Year award from LongHorn Steakhouse for his ongoing commitment to his guests and team, and for his heroic efforts in helping to save Isaiah during one of his shifts.

“Whether in the restaurant or in the hospital, Jacob’s passion for helping others is truly inspiring,” said Erin Condon, vice president, Upromise by Sallie Mae. “Jacob is equally passionate about education, and we are delighted to help him continue on his path towards earning his degree.”

Whether saving for a child’s college education, paying for a child now in school, or repaying student loans, Upromise by Sallie Mae enables American families to earn cash back for college through everyday purchases. Through Upromise, families have saved $850 million for college. Free to join, members can earn cash for college by shopping online at hundreds of major retailers dining out, buying gas or using the Upromise credit card.

Sallie Mae is the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae offers products that promote responsible personal finance including private education loans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search, college financial planning tools, insurance, and online retail banking. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

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