UALR graduate Monica McDaniel – who at one time supported four children on her salary as a cocktail waitress and bartender – calls Phyllis A. Keltner her “dream maker.”
“I am a walking billboard for all single moms to not give up, because there are people like Ms. Keltner who has made the impossible possible,” said McDaniel, who graduated with a degree in health education and promotion at age 45.
Keltner is the woman behind the Phyllis A. Keltner Foundation for Women Scholarship, which gives single mothers the opportunity to get a college education at UALR to provide a more financially secure future for their families.
McDaniel said her entire life was altered as a result of the scholarship, which covers up to 12 credit hours of tuition and fees and $300 in books per semester.
Lisa Hicks, 50, a UALR student who works full-time shared similar sentiments about the impact the Keltner Scholarship has had on her life.
“My Pell Grants had run out and I was running low on financial aid so receiving this scholarship was a miracle,” Hicks said.
Hicks returned home to Arkansas from Dallas at age 40. She had to start over in a job that offered no retirement, no health insurance, and no prospects of promotion.
She said receiving the scholarship helped her reduce the number of hours she worked in order to support her 11-year-old daughter.
“I was having to work until 9 at night, and it’s hard to study when you are that tired. I don’t know how I would’ve continued in school without it,” she said.
Hicks said she hopes to complete her degree in history by the end of summer and plans to become a middle school teacher after that.
“You can always live the life you were meant to live,” she said. “You just have to be willing to work hard for it.”
Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered for the scholarship:
- Be currently enrolled as a non-traditional undergraduate student at UALR
- Be a single mother with dependent children
- Demonstrate academic accomplishment
- Complete a 2014-15 FAFSA to demonstrate financial need
- Complete a written narrative
Download the scholarship application and apply by March 1.
Scholarship recipients for the 2014-15 award year will be announced in May.
For more information or questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 501.683.7819.