Linda Lael Miller’s Scholarships for Women Fund Pursuit of Ten Winners’ Dreams
SPOKANE, Wash. — Linda Lael Miller loves to create women who make their own dreams come true against all odds in her novels. This year, the New York Times bestselling author has given 10 real-life women the opportunity to do the same with her Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women.
In the 8th year of Miller’s contest, 1884 applications were received from women hoping to further their education with the help of these $1,000 scholarships. From working with children as a grade school teacher to helping women as a midwife nurse, the goals of these inspiring ladies are as diverse as the women themselves.
The winners in the 2008 competition range from a 26-year-old majoring in dental hygiene to an American Sign Language major hoping to improve communication abilities with an ill sister, just two examples of the incredible women selected for the scholarships.
“My philosophy is, ‘Educate a woman, impact endless future generations,'” Miller said, from the horse property outside Spokane where she writes novels set in the west of today and yesterday that are published by HQN Books.
Miller hopes to see generation after generation impacted by women who may not have otherwise completed their education without the help of her scholarships. Her vision for the program may be realized sooner than she expected, as many of this year’s winners are mothers, whose children and future grandchildren will learn all the things that can be achieved through education against all odds.
To be eligible for the scholarship program, a woman must be a U.S. or Canadian resident older than 25 years and enrolled in an accredited institution of learning. Winners may use the funds for books and tuition but also for daycare, transportation and other expenses not usually covered by scholarships.
The winners are selected based on essays written by the applicants, explaining why they need the scholarship and how their lives and families would be impacted by receiving it.
Miller knows firsthand the hardships these women have endured. Before she was known as the First Lady of the West for her bestselling novels, she experienced her share of discouraging setbacks. Now, after writing more than 70 novels, Miller is an acclaimed author with her latest bestseller, Montana Creeds: Logan, flying off the shelves.
The 2008 winners of Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women are:
Linda Davis, 45, Wheeling, WV
Just one year ago, Linda Davis faced homelessness, an abusive, unfaithful spouse, and a life-threatening thyroid disease.
Today, she is healthy, raising her children single-handedly, living in public housing, and well on her way to becoming a surgical nurse at West Virginia Northern Community College. Though her kids still worry about her health, they are still confident and supportive of their mother’s goal to complete her college degree.
After all she has been through, Davis has learned to appreciate her family’s growth.
“I felt like I was on a treadmill that went nowhere, no matter how much I walked,” Davis lamented of her past. “Now, it is like I have become another person. I am no longer a doormat for anyone.”
Davis will use her scholarship funds for her uniform for clinicals, gas and daycare.
Kim Anderson*, 41, Louisville, KY
As a resident at The Center for Women and Families, a shelter for domestic violence victims, Anderson knows all about life’s struggles. After distancing herself from the man who injured her, she decided it was time to claim her independence and finish her education.
Achieving her goal hasn’t been easy. In June, Anderson’s son, 21, underwent his third surgery due to spina bifida. She was forced to work twice as hard in order to care for her son, pay the bills and attend class, but she was able to maintain all As and Bs in her classes.
“After all he has been through,” she said, “I hope that by watching me, he’ll never give up, and he’ll know he can do anything.”
Anderson will use her scholarship funds for a new computer for schoolwork at Spencerian College.