the winner is...
We'd like to congratulate Kathy Mortensen of Oshkosh, Wisconsin,
as the 2004 Mesothelioma Memorial Scholarship winner! Kathy is
a single mom working for a truck company and pursuing a business
degree. Read her winning essay below.
First, allow me to introduce myself! My name is Kathy Mortensen
from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I am the single mother of a wonderful
eleven-year old boy. My current employment is with the Oshkosh
Truck Corporation, a company that has been in Oshkosh since the
We manufacture heavy-duty
vehicles such as fire trucks, cement mixers, and several types
of Military vehicles. The department I work in creates and maintains
both electronic and hard copy operating manuals for the Military
vehicles. I am very proud of the fact that the work I do contributes
to keeping the vehicles for our soldiers up and running!
Mortensen, winner of the Mesothelioma Memorial Scholarship,
and son Matt.
I have several
reasons for wanting to obtain my Business Associate Degree. After
being out of school for many years, I have to admit I was a bit
nervous, but I feel very confident that I will be able to obtain
my Business Associate Degree and then move on to my Bachelor's
and Master's Degrees. This is possible for me primarily because
of the technology of an online program. The online program I am
enrolled in allows me to continue to work to support myself and
my son, and the flexibility, which will allow me to participate
in the things that my son is involved in.
The most important
reason for obtaining my degree is my son. I want to show him what
the benefit of having a degree really is. He is about to enter
middle school, and I feel that this part of his life will form
the base for his later education choices. My other reasons for
continuing my education are the rewards of a great sense of accomplishment,
and also advancement with my employer.
After I obtain my degree,
the next dream I would like to work on is owning my own kennel.
I love animals and have five dogs of my own. Through this business,
I will also assist the local animal shelter. They always seem
to be short on room and I plan to devote a portion of my kennel
to fostering pets that the shelter may not have room for. I also
intend to assist with educating the public on how to become responsible
pet owners, to help keep animals out of shelters.
Another portion of
my kennel will be a therapy area which will address the needs
of older or handicapped animals. I will use the knowledge that
I will gain to perform my job with more understanding, and be
able to contribute more to my co-workers, as well as my employer.
It will also enable me to assist my son even more with his homework.
have changed so much that sometimes helping with his homework
is a challenge. I feel that because children absorb so much from
their parents, if he sees that I can do it, he will feel that
he can as well. I feel that I am a great candidate for this scholarship
because it will help me to meet the goals I have set for myself,
and set an example for other people that are in situations similar
I'm not looking for
an "easy" way to get my degree, meaning that I understand that
the coursework will be just as challenging as if I were attending
on a campus. I am very grateful that today's technology, in addition
to the many financial aid and scholarship programs that are available,
will allow me to obtain my degree. Thank you very much for considering
me as a candidate for your scholarship program.
Kathy for winning the inaugural Mesothelioma Memorial Scholarship!
Apply now for the next Mesothelioma Memorial