During the summer after I graduated from high school in 1999, I was in the kitchen at a friend’s house, hanging out, having a talk with his mom about my future. At the time I had no plans to go to college. My grades weren’t good enough for any scholarships and I didn’t qualify for any assistance.
My friend’s mom asked me what I would do if I went to college. What would I go for? I’d be an art teacher. Why? I love art! Obviously, right? Why teach? I love people. I love to be around people and share what I know with others. That desire to share has gotten even stronger in the last few years. The more I learn about this or that, the more I want to be able to share it with others.
My friend’s mom said, what if I gave you the money to go to school?
Obviously I didn’t know what to say to that. Nobody had ever offered me anything like that before. I wasn’t sure if she meant it or not. It wasn’t just the amount of money she offered that surprised me, but what it meant for me and my future. Getting into school meant opportunity that I otherwise wouldn’t have, and she was offering that to me. She was offering to give me a leg up so that I could spend my life doing something that I was passionate about. How could I resist?
So I went to college. I started in Spring of 2000 at National Park Community College and I graduated December, 2007 with my BSE in Art Education from Henderson State University.
She gave me the start, the push I needed, and I want to be able to do that for others. I want to be able to offer scholarships to graduating seniors. I want to be able to do for other kids what this incredible woman did for me.
How will I do that? Through the sale of student art postcards and now, pocket notebooks. I’m going to make and sell these postcards and notebooks with student and donated art featured on them, and put all the proceeds from that into the scholarship fund. The money can go towards books or tuition or art supplies, or a car to get around. Every little bit will help these kids get into and succeed in college, and that’s what I want to help them do.
And then the next year I’ll do it again.
—This scholarship is open to anybody, not just students passionate about the arts.
And some thank you notes from the kids. These are for all of you. :)