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Scholarship Recipients 2021-2022

From Pima Medical Instiute

  • Elena R. Martinez 

  • Wendy Moreno Rodriguez 

  • Megan Kern 

  • Alma Armenta 


Here's some of Alma's story:


My name is Alma Armenta. I was terminated from Pima Medical Institute due to having excessive absences. This was due to a situation I was dealing with at home. My then-boyfriend had been dealing with drug addiction, and I had taken it upon myself to ensure that he maintained his sobriety, which resulted in a lot of unnecessary stress on my end. I also have a three-year-old daughter and work a full-time job, so needless to say, my mental health was far from good.


I did my best to balance everything and maintain my composure, only to receive a rude awakening when I caught him using behind my back right before I was supposed to go to school. I tried to get the drugs away from him, but he became physically aggressive and ended up putting his hands on me. I got out of his apartment and made my way to school; however, I was in hysterics and couldn’t bring myself to go into the classroom in the condition I was in. I had a talk with [an administrator], and she told me I could take time off to figure out my situation, which is what I ended up doing.


I had a few of my friends go with me to the apartment, when I knew he would be out, to retrieve my belongings and went to stay with family in Tucson while I found somewhere new to live. I cut contact with my now-ex. because I was afraid of what he might do in retaliation to my abrupt departure from his apartment, seeing as we had lived together for over two years, at that point, and we had pets together. I was scared because drug users are notoriously unpredictable and someone with his temperament (he has severe anger issues) has the potential to be extremely dangerous.


He has no idea where I am, so I am safe now. I live on my own with my cat, and I am in a much better place mentally and emotionally. I feel that I am now ready to re-enter my program and intend on completing it, now that I have nothing distracting me or keeping me from trying my best. I no longer have the added stress of another individual being completely reliant on me, and I don’t have to worry about everything that comes along with being in a relationship with an addict. I intend on focusing my efforts completely on graduating on time and with the best grades I could possibly get.

From Helping Hands for Single Moms

  • Cecile Ewell

  • Kathleen Nunez


Cecile's Story

These last couple of years haven’t been easy, for anyone, to say the least.  I have hit a few bumps in my journey as I’m trying to navigate my new single mom life. 

I have been divorced for a little over a year now.  I have four of the most beautiful children, a 17-year-old daughter Elle; 15-year-old son Talan; 11-year-old son Hudson; and 10-year-old son Emerson.  They are my light and my world.  I got married at a very young age and started a family very young, as encouraged by my family and, at the time, religious community.  It was expected of women to get married and have children while the man focused on finding a career and financially providing for his family.

Long story short, he left me for another woman.  For the last few years, I have been focusing on my education and working towards getting my bachelor’s degree in nursing, because that has been something I’ve always wanted.  I am working very hard for it and want to show my children that anything is possible if you put in the hard work and set your mind to it.

I am about to embark in my last semester, Block 4, of my BSN program through NAU/EMCC and can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! I am so determined to finish strong and provide a decent life for me and my children.

I have been putting in the work to provide the best I can to my babies, and am so thankful and honored to have a community like you guys to help support women get back on their feet and get a second chance at life!!



Scholarship Recipients 2019


Heather - Engineering

Financially speaking, this academic year will be one of the most difficult years I have faced. I am a single parent of a 14-year-old boy. I received a kidney transplant in February of 2017, and the continued follow-up care, medication, and insurance are expensive, exhausting my savings.

I am seeking a career that will translate my curiosity, zest for understanding, and love of chemistry into developing and engineering products, as well as more effective testing techniques. I will focus on products and techniques that clean up our food supply and make solar energy more accessible to individual homeowners.  I am focusing studies on chemical engineering, inspired by my cousin Jason, who is currently a successful chemical engineer.

From a young age, I learned the value of volunteering and developed organizational skills that I now use to serve the community. Most recently, I was the president of the Parent Teacher Organization at Shepherd Junior High School.  And I tutor and mentor youth at Sunshine Acres children’s home.


Shannon – Court Reporting

I am looking forward to my second semester of court reporting; I paid for my first semester on my own. However, I have gone from being employed full time to part time while attending school which has reduced my income dramatically and is difficult in supporting my daughter.

My academic goal is to graduate in the year 2021 with an associate’s degree in court reporting. I am the only family member currently enrolled in college and will be the first person on my mother's side to graduate from college. I plan on dedicating 110% of my time to master this skill set and begin a career as soon as I graduate. I will either pursue a career as a court reporter or as a closed-caption writer.

My current profession is a senior workforce analyst where I own site responsibilities for the Phoenix call center in terms of new-hire classes, schedule design, and half of the ongoing training requirements for 1,000+ professionals.


Ashley – Medical Radiology

For the upcoming academic year, my need for financial assistance will be great.  I do plan on obtaining a job to help with everyday expenses; however, I find it difficult due to program schedule requirements to manage school and home life.

My academic goals would include completion of the medical radiography program in May of 2020. I will achieve this by sheer determination and discipline to provide a better life for my daughter.  My hope is that I can set an example for her that anything is possible.  Upon completion of the program, I will apply to continue my education.  Continuing education would be expanding my clinical skills in the world of imaging or obtaining a bachelor's degree in medical radiography. 

As a single full-time parent, I dedicate any additional time I have towards my daughter, ensuring she has experiences beyond school and daycare.  I am able to demonstrate leadership skills through helping fellow students during class time or through my clinical experience.  I often I strive to be someone who can be helpful and reliable in the classroom or in clinical rotations.


Lyndsay - Business

Since the day my husband forced me and my son out of our home in the middle of the night, I’ve worked to ensure that I never find myself in a predicament where I have to depend on someone else for our well-being.  In order to make a better life, I know this must include a quality education followed by a job that can support my small family of two. I work 40 (plus) hours a week while in school. I hope to earn an  associate’ s degree in business at GateWay Community College and continue my education by transferring to Arizona State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration. 

My early career was working with patients entering the hospital at Abrazo West Campus Hospital, and helping staff care for the patients.  I loved being on the front line where tough situations often presented themselves.  I have a take-charge personality and people often look to me for solutions.   After Abrazo, I was a marketing coordinator for Brookdale Senior Living.  I took a lot of pride in coordinating events that helped residents maintain their independence and keep a connection with their families.  One Easter, I even dressed up as the Easter Bunny to the delight of the residents and their families. 


Nadia - Nursing

I'm a bilingual full-time employee with two children.  I have been interested in the medical field since I could remember.  I was not able to pursue that career after high school since my mother was a single parent and I had to help her.  I became a mother at 21 and decided to put my dreams aside and take care of my daughter and when my son was born, once again I set my dreams aside.  They're older now and I feel it's time for me to reach my dreams.

I have been accepted to the Bilingual Nursing Fellowship Program and started nursing school Fall of 2019.  This led me to cut back my work responsibility.  I will be the first one in both my paternal and maternal families to have completed a degree in the medical field. My goal is to become a successful bilingual registered nurse and pursue my bachelor's as well.

I work for a dialysis company as a patient care technician transitioning to a Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician.  Being in contact with dialysis patients has once again confirmed that I do want to become a registered nurse and have the knowledge and education to make a difference in someone’s life.  I have also been involved in committees at work and in the community.  I get involved with the children in our neighborhood and play games with them to get them active and not just sit at home. I have also been the go-to person in the family when it comes to translating, financial advice, health decisions, or help when in need; I enjoy taking a leadership role.



Scholarship Recipients 2020

Khrysteena, Advanced Behavioral Health Sciences – Estrella Mountain Community College

She lives with her fiancé, two young children, her father, and two siblings. Her fiancé is the only one able to work at this time. Scholarship money would reduce her stress of putting food on the table and continue her education. “I want to make a better life for my children and a comfortable life for myself and my future husband.” Her academic goals is to get her associate’s degree and then transfer into The Social Work School at Arizona State University to earn her BSW. “Formerly working with children with disabilities has made me really want to make a difference in their lives, and I feel I can do that within this career.” She says that having to take charge of her two little ones has greatly positively shaped her leadership skills, along with patience. “Being a parent is the biggest leadership role that you could possibly have in my eyes. I have two little lives that depend on me to help them thrive within theirs everyday.”

Oiza, Nursing – GateWay Community College

She is a international student who has been sponsored in her academic career up until the current COVID-19 pandemic. With the sponsor no longer able to support both her tuition and living expenses, she needs scholarships to continue her education. The jobs on campus have dried up until in-person classes resume. This scholarship will make a positive impact on my study in the upcoming academic year. “My career goal and aspiration are to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetics.” Eventually she hopes to earn a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University and go on to  enroll in a nursing doctoral program “while also practicing as a registered nurse to acquire more clinical experience and support myself financially.” Once she has her degrees, she will “help stabilize my family's poor financial status.“ One value I hold so dearly is treating people with kindness, and also putting a smile on people's faces. I intend to use my profession to leave people better than I met them, and that is what success means to me.


Theresa, Repiratory Care – GateWay Community College

She lives with her parents and currently works part time at Gateway Elementary School and will try to pay what I can from my checks towards tuition. However, due to COVID-19, she has been without work. She is now having to use the money she had been saving for school to meet the basic needs of her family. “I am the first person in my family to attend college. All I have ever wanted was to be successful and break the cycle of poverty that has affected my family for generations.”She wants to become a physician assistant specializing in pediatrics.  “I have always enjoyed working with children in an education setting. However, I want to go into the medical field and help children in a different way.” Her academic goal is to complete her associate’s degree in respiratory care, then transfer to ASU for my bachelor's degree. Once she completes her bachelor's degree, she will apply to the physician assistant program at Midwestern University.

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