Scholarship recipients grateful for support
Recent graduate and single mother Amanda Ray is looking ahead to beginning work on a Master’s degree in August. When she looks back, this twenty-year old alumna can be proud of all she has accomplished against difficult odds.
Ray was the recipient of the Jean Bradford Memorial Scholarship. With free assistance from the UTC’s Center of Community Career Education Educational Opportunity Center, Ray received the educational counseling, advising, and ultimately, the recommendation needed to secure the Jean Bradford Memorial Scholarship.
The Chattanooga Chapter of Executive Women International (EWI) recently made a contribution to the Jean Bradford Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund. The criteria specifies special consideration be given to displaced homemakers and single mothers who wish to return to school in pursuit of enhanced career opportunities. Preference is given to those like Ray, who have gone through UTC’s Center of Community Career Education Educational Opportunity Center under the direction of Cynthia Wallace.
Ray’s recently expressed her appreciation for the scholarship and the assitance of the Educational Opportnity Center:
“At the age of 14, I became pregnant with my son. When he was born, he suffered from several health problems that prevented him from attending daycare.
In eleventh grade, I was able to take solely college classes on the campus of Chattanooga State and substitute them for high school credit. In 2003, I graduated from Middle College with my high school diploma and also 60 college credits. This allowed me to enter into UTC as a junior.
By the time I turned 16, my son’s health had improved. I went to work on my 16th birthday and since then I have never been without a full time job. Most of the time I have also had a part time in addition to a full time job. I just turned 20 years old in October and I have graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice.
“As a single parent, I can never fully express the extent of my gratitude. My son is now four years old. He is very talented and I am extremely proud of him. He deserves the best in life and I will not settle for anything less. This scholarship helped me continue to provide him with his daily necessities. It eased both of our lives, and for that I am thankful.
"It has not been easy working two jobs, going to school, and raising my son on my own. I knew that one day my perseverance would pay off.
"I plan on returning to UTC in August 2006, to begin pursuing my master’s degree. I know that education is the key to success. I have come too far to quit now. I will prove all of those wrong who doubted me and I will make those who believe in me have that much more faith.
"I once read a bulletin that said, 'If better is possible, good is never enough.' That is now my motto. I will never settle for less. I know what I am worth and I will make sure to utilize all of my potential.
”To those who have funded the scholarship and those who staff the Educational Opportunity Center, thank you for your consistent support in my life and also the life of my son.”
Twenty awards have been made since the establishment of the scholarship fund, providing opportunities for women. Sherrell Jordan and Rachel Eggensperger were also awarded the scholarship this year.
EWI was established in 1938 as an association of businesswomen dedicated to personal and professional growth. Chapter members come together for networking, recognition, exchange of information and ideas, leadership and service opportunities. The Chattanooga Chapter has 46 members.
l-r: Barbara Verhine, UTC, EWI rep
Marvis McKeldin, Chattanooga African-American Chamber of Commerce, EWI Officer
Delores Lewis, United Way, EWI Officer
Karen Hannifin, Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, President, EWI
Roger Brown, Chancellor, UTC
Jan McAfee, RiverCity Company, EWI Officer
Catherine Cox, Lyndhurst Foundation, EWI Officer
Nate Pinkard, UTC
March 3, 2006