#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Past Scholarship Winners

Scholarship Winners 2009

Author Linda Lael Miller’s Scholarships Help 10 Women Work Toward Helping Others

SEATTLE, WA—Ten women who’ve struggled with poverty, prison or health issues have won the 2009 Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women. Each winner, despite her current life challenges, seeks to obtain her education so that she may be of service to others.

“My philosophy is, ‘Educate a woman, impact endless future generations,'” said Miller, a New York Times bestselling author of more than 80 novels.

Miller has awarded scholarships for the past nine years to women 25 years or older who have a difficult time finding scholarships for which they qualify. As in previous years, the grants may be used not only for tuition and books, but also for child care, transportation and other expenses not covered by traditional scholarships. Each of this year’s winners will receive $1,000.

Miller is no stranger to adversity. She struggled for years as she worked toward her dream of becoming an author. She started the scholarship program “as a way to give back. I was once a single parent, with my back to the wall a lot of the time, and I know how it feels.”

More than 1,700 women across the United States and Canada applied for Miller’s 2009 scholarships. Application essays were judged on readability, demonstration of commitment to the applicant’s education/career and on the possible impact of the scholarship on the life of the recipient, her family and/or her community. These following 10 women received top scores in all categories by the judges.

The 2009 winners of Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women are:

Barbara Paulus, Springfield, OH

Barbara Paulus After Barbara Paulus happily worked as a nursing assistant for 22 years, her personal doctor told her she needed to find another line of work. Her body could no longer sustain lifting patients. The news came at the same time Paulus was dealing with an abusive husband. She left her husband, retrained into information technology and tried to move on with her life.

In 2007, a trip to the emergency room for a severe headache revealed a mass at the base of her skull and cancer in both breasts. Paulus spent more than a year recovering from surgeries, but through all her health challenges, she found the time to encourage others—either in person while in the hospital or online.

Paulus currently maintains more than 20 Web sites and dreams of running a Christian-based computer learning center.

What has helped Paulus through her adversities? “Never listen to others telling you what you can’t do or that you’re not going to make it. I have been through an abusive marriage and cancer—if I can do it, you can too!”

She will use her scholarship award for school supplies.

Heidi McCurdy, White Rock, British Columbia, Canada

Heidi McCurdy As a struggling single mother, Heidi McCurdy has found solace through expressing herself creatively. With crippling knee injuries and a paycheck nowhere in sight, McCurdy relied on her creative spirit for inspiration and motivation.

“I have learned that it’s vital to maintain hope for the future, even if the present seems enormously difficult,” said McCurdy, 38. “The nature of life is change, and just as things sometimes get worse, they also get better.”

McCurdy dreams of using expressive arts therapy with women who are depressed, in transition, or recovering from trauma, as well as with children with learning disabilities.

“I’d like to guide a creative experience into a therapeutic and emotionally healing one,” said McCurdy.

Her scholarship award will go toward tuition in an expressive arts therapy program.