Joy and Lester Matlock created an estate gift to UA Little Rock to help open doors to opportunity for future students.
Lester and Joy Matlock were raised to give back. As the child of parents who worked in the field of social work, Lester was taught the importance of supporting education. Joy's parents, who immigrated from Ghana, also stressed the importance of education and community service.
Joy, who grew up in Little Rock, could have gone anywhere for college. In fact, Joy had planned to attend an out-of-state school and had not seriously considered UA Little Rock. Her plans changed when Emily Lewis from UA Little Rock came to Joy's high school, Mount St. Mary Academy, on a college recruiting visit.
Emily encouraged Joy to apply for the prestigious Donaghey Scholarship, which provides full tuition, room, and board. When Joy was awarded the Donaghey Scholarship, she decided to attend UA Little Rock.
According to Joy, the scholarship was the determining factor for her choice to attend UA Little Rock. As part of the scholarship, Joy was afforded the opportunity to study abroad in Spain. As a result, Joy saw firsthand that her career choices could have a worldwide impact. Joy pursued a double major in international business and Spanish. Upon graduation from UA Little Rock, she obtained a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
Because of her opportunities at UA Little Rock, Joy pursued her passion for service at Heifer International, where she worked for 15 years. Joy has continued her service to UA Little Rock as a mentor to Donaghey scholars.
Along the way, Joy met and married Lester. Although Lester is a graduate of UA Pine Bluff, he has devoted his time and resources to UA Little Rock. As a successful financial advisor, Lester serves on the UA Little Rock College of Business Advisory Board. Lester also takes on a UA Little Rock student intern each year. In fact, two of his four employees are UA Little Rock graduates, while his interns have gone on to careers in the financial industry across the country.
When asked why they decided to include UA Little Rock in their estate plan, Lester and Joy responded, "We have been blessed and we want to have an impact."
Indeed, their estate gift will impact future UA Little Rock students for generations to come.
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