Update from a past recipient
I thought you may want to know the difference this scholarship made for me and what I have been doing since I received the award.
I graduated from Central Washington University in 2014 with a Bachelor's of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Sociology. I graduated with honors, on the Deans List and was made a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
To return to college in my 50's was an amazing and enriching experience. The world has changed so much and I got a great education across disciplines.
Since then I have have become a writer and and activist and am approaching one million reads of my story and article content on the social media site, Quora. I have written many, many articles on the issues of today, and can modestly say that I have become an "influencer" for social issues.
But the best thing my education gave me was an opportunity to pay it forward. Since the day I graduated I have been tutoring students online every academic year at no charge. I tutor an average of three students per semester, including low-income and rural students, service members, women of color and single moms and dads.
This semester I helped a special education teacher, an ex-service member, a black single mother who was struggling with full-time work, her own two boys and had taken in her sister and children when they became homeless. She was finishing up, already working with special ed kids, and getting her teaching certificate. She almost sunk, but I was able to encourage her, help her edit her work and get her through. It took two tries to get her certifcate, but she succeeded.
Four years ago I started helping a freshman student who was working full-time, struggling to keep up and understand college-level writing and work. He wanted to "take a break" every year and not enroll for the next year, but I would not let him quit. This student's first paper came to me with four mixed metaphors in three paragraphs. Yikes!
This year he graduated from Lewis and Clark College with his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with honors. He also has a successful blog and podcast. He is now applying for a degree in Communication Leadership at Gonzaga, and has been offered a top level job with presitigious medical equipment company.
I cannot tell you how rewarding it has been to help students from all walks of life succeed against tough odds.
Without your belief in me and the financial gift that I desperately needed at the time, I don't think I would have kept trying. But, when I wanted to give up, I couldn't let myself because of your help and encouragement.
Thank you. Thank you so much.