#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Mia Carrington, California

Mia Carrington likens trying to attend school while being medically disabled and having a daughter with autism to “a record playing, skipping and having to be restarted.

“My disability and raising a disabled child have delayed my goals, but not stopped me from pursuing them,” said Carrington. “I have had to drop many semesters due to illness, but I always return when I am able. Quitting is just not part of my character.”

She and her 10-year-old daughter live with Carrington’s parents and rely solely on Social Security disability for income. Pursuing a degree in Health Information Technology, Carrington has her mind set on landing a good job after she graduates.

“My family already gives me so much,” said Carrington. “I want to work and earn a living to support me and my daughter.”

Carrington will use the $1,000 scholarship for tuition at Santa Barbara City College and to pay for a national certification exam.

“Many times when you are having a difficult time, it is hard to share that with others and ask for help,” said the 33-year-old. “My advice for other women who are struggling, whether financially or with health issues, is to ask for help. I have always been a private person, not wanting to share my painful issues with others. Now that I have my daughter, I have learned to ask for help no matter what.”

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