creates a scholarship to help single moms
oddsmakers bet against it.
And Michaela Mackley
knows how difficult it can be for a single mother to return to college.
The UNC Pembroke employee survived the odds to graduate in May 2002
with a degree in history.
"I know how
hard it is to go back to college, especially financially," said
Braves Card Manager Michaela Mackley. "We want to help those who
have the fortitude to come back."
To do that, Mackley
and her fiancée Jeff Jones have created the Nancy Jones-Dorothy
Hupp Memorial Scholarship to contribute $250 each semester to a non-traditional
female student majoring in history, taking at least three credit hours
and maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.2.
The West Virginia
native traveled a long and lonely road to get her degree.
in college right out of high school, but got an offer of a good federal
job and quit," she said. "That was a mistake."
later with the federal job behind her, Mackley faced a very different
job prospects without a degree. Sixteen years ago she finished work
on an associate degree from West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
itself, and she quit before obtaining a bachelor's degree. This time
it was a job with the State of West Virginia.
Several life changes
later, Mackley landed in North Carolina, a single mother without good
job prospects. But she got a few breaks.
She got an entry-level
job at UNCP, and as a UNCP employee, Mackley learned of the employee
tuition waiver that allowed her to take one class free per semester.
"It's one of
our benefits as a UNCP employee," Mackley said, "Everyone
should take advantage of the tuition waiver if you want to further your
education or not."
Slowly and painfully,
taking two and sometimes three courses per semester, she reached her
is named in honor of some other women who influenced Mackely's life
- her mother and her fiancée's mother.
"My own mother
didn't get to finish college, and it's something she would have done
if she had the option because she saw how important a good education
is," Mackley said.
Today, she is working
on her Master's in Pubic Administration.
"I find that
my degree in history prepared me well for the challenges of graduate
school," she said.
She found other
advantages to graduate school.
"I love taking
classes online because you work at home at your own pace," Mackley
said. "But college is still hard work and requires sacrifices.
My evenings are filled with homework."
recognizes a non-traditional student (over age 25) who is willing to
make sacrifices to further their education, Mackley said. They plan
to fund the program indefinitely.
to University Newswire