Past Scholarship Winners
Scholarship Winners 2005
Linda Lael Miller Awards Scholarships To Women Who Overcome Adversity
Spokane, WA — A Washington author who knows what it’s like to struggle is awarding scholarships this week to six women 25 years and older who have overcome such adversities as spousal abuse and the death of children to pursue their educational dreams.
The grants, from $800 to $1000, are Linda Lael Miller’s way of helping women who don’t usually qualify for traditional scholarships. Moreover, Linda Lael Miller’s Scholarships for Women may be used not only for tuition and books but also for childcare, transportation and other expenses not usually covered by scholarships
This is the fifth year for Miller’s self-funded scholarship competition. The New York Times bestselling author of more than 70 novels about women who succeed despite overwhelming odds said more than 1000 entered this year’s competition. Entries were judged based on essays that convey why the applicants need the funds and what an impact a scholarship would have on their lives and the lives of their families.
Once a struggling single parent, Miller endured her share of hardships before her talent and perseverance paid off and her books scored berths on all the major bestseller lists. Her next novel, McKETTRICK’S CHOICE, a sweeping historical set in Arizona and Texas, will be published by HQN Books in March.
About her program, Miller said, from her home outside Spokane, “Educate a woman, and you will impact endless future generations. These grants enable the winners to demonstrate to their children and to their children’s children that a woman can overcome adversity and succeed, through education.”
The winners of 2005 Linda Lael Miller’s Scholarships for Women are:
Tonja Edwards, Springfiled, MA
A full-time student at Manchester Community College, she is a single mother of three majoring in criminal justice. She aspires to attend law school and eventually provide counsel for youth offenders. She already volunteers her time to several organizations dealing with troubled children by participating in home visits, group facilitation, home interventions and acting as a court liaison.
Edwards believes in the power of a positive role model. “For Christmas, my children and I collected, purchased, wrapped and distributed toys to needy children whom attend inner city schools. I will never forget the look of great appreciation in the eyes of so many children,” she said.
Jennifer Pugh, 28, of Lorain, OH
She decided to pursue nursing after giving birth to her special needs son when she was a teenager. “My son is physically and mentally handicapped, but I had a wonderful nurse who made me comfortable with my son’s disabilities and with myself as a mother,” Pugh said.
Pugh cares for her children, ages 10, 7, and 3, and her husband, who is recovering from a heart attack and spinal compression. She also works for The Murray Ridge School for mentally and physically handicapped children and attends Lorain County Community College, where she was recently named to the National Dean’s List.