University of Phoenix and National Retail Federation Inspire Retail Employees to ‘Dream BIG’

Twenty retail professionals to be awarded full-tuition scholarships
for undergraduate or graduate degree programs at University of Phoenix

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#NRFNews–For the fifth consecutive year University of Phoenix® and the
National Retail Federation are collaborating to offer the Dream
BIG Scholarship Program
to support the dreams of the next generation
of retail leaders. The program will award 20 full-tuition scholarships
to retail industry professionals who want to advance their retail
careers through higher education.

“The multifaceted retail industry offers various opportunities for
career growth and upward mobility,” said Ruth Veloria, executive dean
for University of Phoenix School of Business. “In fact, 44 percent of
retail workers today are employed in positions other than sales. An
ever-changing technology and consumer landscape makes innovation a top
priority for retail leaders, and education is crucial to enhance career
outcomes in the industry.”

The Dream
BIG Scholarship Program
is open to applicants who reside in the
U.S., work full or part time for a retail or restaurant company and meet
additional eligibility criteria. Applications will be accepted through
March 31, 2017. Retail executives from some of the industry’s most
well-known companies will serve as members of the executive selection

“During the past five years, the NRF Foundation has seen the Dream BIG
scholarship change the lives of more than 70 worthy individuals, with
recipients’ passion for retail and commitment to hard work culminating
in the perfect formula for success in the retail industry,” NRF
Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “We are proud to partner
with University of Phoenix once again to recognize 20 more retail
professionals for the Dream BIG Scholarship Program and we look forward
to reading about the dreams and stories of those looking to advance
their retail careers through higher education.”

The Dream BIG Scholarship program is made possible through a
collaboration between National Retail Federation, the NRF Foundation,
and University of Phoenix.

“Receiving the Dream BIG scholarship offered a significant opportunity
to support my career goals and helped to make achieving a master’s
degree possible,” said Leigh Deal, Custom Closets Designer, The
Container Store. “The ability to attend class remotely, work in a
collaborative virtual setting and sharpen my writing skills for the
digital space not only aided my own professional growth, but helped me
to effectively impact employees within our organization by assisting
them in making better decisions and establishing more positive customer

To learn more about the program, including scholarship terms and
conditions and how to apply, visit

About National Retail Federation

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing
discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main
Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet
retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is
the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four
U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to
annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

About NRF Foundation

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the
industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through
education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth
among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3)
nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by
generous donations from retail industry supporters.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults
move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world.
Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive
learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal
aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo
Education Group, Inc., University of Phoenix serves a diverse student
population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree
programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as
online throughout the world. For more information, visit



University of Phoenix
Becky Frost, 602-557-8638
Retail Federation
Ana Serafin Smith, 855-NRF-PRESS