Stories of Scholarship Recipients


Changing hundreds of lives of women & their families

Everyone knows someone who is a single parent. Here are just a few stories that share the impact of receiving the scholarship and gaining an education. Real accounts. Real families. Real needs. 


Thank you for lifting them!


Just two days before our son's 2nd birthday, my husband, Aaron, passed away unexpectedly, leaving me a widow and my son without a father. I was devastated and scared. I didn't know how I was going to take care of my son and how I would be all that he needed me to be for him. I hadn't been to college. After several years of worrying and wondering what to do, my heart and mind finally felt open to the idea of going to college.

I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be a good example of education for my son for his future education choices. I am so very grateful for the kindness and generosity of those who make this scholarship possible. I am grateful for the opportunity to better the lives of my son and myself through an education. - Leslie


I am so grateful to have this opportunity to pursue this education without interrupting that of my children’s lives.  The scholarship will lessen the financial burden on our family temporarily as well as open the doors for long term.  I am pursuing accounting and a certificate in social media marketing.  Thank you for your generosity and kindness to make a difference in another families life.

Why am I single?  I asked that question to myself a lot, but know in my heart that Heavenly Father needed my husband home.  He died from cancer and I am grateful we were together every day those last months.  We had been married 17 years.  I am now raising four kids and it has been a challenge but feel like we are all getting in a place where we know we will make it. - Linda


Thank you, for the first time this has given me that hope.  Hope not only for a better life but for me also a better life for my children.  I want to tell each of you how grateful I am to be able to see a new tomorrow. Knowing that my children will not go through poverty, you have no idea how grateful I am for that.  John T.

Kim Pedersen.jpg

In September of 2017 I was going through a terrible divorce. My life seemed dark through that time, as there were more questions than answers. I knew that I somehow needed to return to school so I could support myself and my children.

I had no idea how. I didn't even have enough money to make my house payment. I was led to the Stella H. Oaks Single Parent Scholarship. It was an answer to my prayers! I received the scholarship, and it has given me a path, even when I didn't believe one existed. This scholarship will impact me for the rest of my life. It will also impact my children, because they see the importance of education. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity. – Kim


Thank you tremendously for the help I have received. I found myself a single mother unable to support my children and anything but poverty. Through this scholarship program, I have progressed and am in my first year of nursing school. I will finish in three more semesters, which will triple my income and bring my family out of poverty. - Pamela


SUE at her recent graduation in Medical Coding. "I finally made it!"


At the time I was very scared and afraid of the future, not knowing which way to turn.  I had very little confidence in my ability to succeed in school let alone get a job in the real world.  Now, for the happy ending, I will graduate with an Associates this May with a 3.9 GPA my confidence has grown amazingly high, and I am ready to tackle life with all its perplexities.  - Amy L


I would like to express my appreciation to you for granting me the scholarship.  I am a single mother of three who is working two part-time jobs. My children are my top priority. In order to provide better for them, I need to obtain my degree so I am able to place myself in a better paying job. I fully recognize that my ability to accomplish this relies on my grant and scholarship. I sincerely thank you for helping me to make this become a reality in my life.  - Lynette


Awarding this money said to me that you believe that I can make it, that you want me to make it, and you are willing to assist and support me.  This support is so important to me since I do not get a lot of it in my life, and it helps give me more drive to finish school and to do it well.  Thank you so much. If it were not for people like you, people like me would be forgotten and left behind.  I hope you can realize how important you are.  You are my lifeline. - Becky


During my first semester I took only one class. It was all I could do - I needed to adjust; my brain really needed to adjust and my kids needed to adjust. As my professor put it, I had the “deer in the headlights look”. I was awkward and self-conscious. Since starting back at school I have come to understand my children better, been able to serve others, sold my house, moved, and made new friends. I have gained confidence. As I have gotten involved on campus, I have stretched my limits and learned that I can do more than I thought I could. I am grateful for the scholarship, which helps make this possible and grateful for a supportive learning environment. - Lavinia