#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:

Amy Hill, Colorado Springs, CO

Many people ask Amy Hill how she maintains her loving, resilient attitude. A wife, mother of four, including a son with cystic fibrosis, full-time student and cancer survivor, Hill said she knows she’s strong-willed, smart and empowered.

“It is my responsibility to show my children what hard work and perseverance can do for you,” said the 36-year-old. “My children are learning that you can achieve anything you want in life, even if the battle is an uphill one.”

Hill said after trying to live on low-paying jobs, she realized she needed to attend college in order to secure a better job for her family. While her husband works, Hill is pursuing a degree in respiratory therapy and would like to work in a neonatal intensive care unit. She also dreams of owning her own home someday.

Hill’s motivating force: “I always remember that God has a plan for me, and I can accomplish my goals no matter what gets in the way.”

Hill will pay for gas and child care with her scholarship.

Susan Carroll, Colorado Springs, CO

Susan Carroll believes her struggles with Ommen’s Syndrome, a rare genetic disease, has been a blessing—a blessing she’s had to accept—but a blessing, nonetheless.

“I sincerely believe that people who have to struggle through life, people who find that things just do not come easily—even small basic things—are blessed. They are blessed because they know what it means to truly struggle so that when little hiccups come in life they don’t sweat it. They know what it means to truly struggle so they deeply appreciate when things go well.”

Carroll’s known health struggles all her life. At 5 months old, she received a bone marrow transplant and then developed graph versus host disease. Later she developed skin cancer. When she felt her health conditions were under control, the 28-year-old decided to go to college to study psychology.

“I dream of becoming a pediatric psychologist,” said Carroll. “I’d like to work in a hospital counseling chronically ill children and their families, in the hopes of helping them cope in a healthy way with their illness—and life in general. I feel that, although life can offer hard knocks, it is my job to take those hard knocks and offer a helping hand and a listening ear to those in need.”

Carroll will use the scholarship to pay for books.