Although COVID-19 brought with it unprecedented hardships and challenges, it was also a time for so many to be recognized as heroes through the help they provided for others. Frontline workers such as healthcare providers, mental healthcare professionals, and those doing the jobs of providing food and utilities while many of us remained in our homes were recognized for the unparalleled support they provide us with each and every day. And, of course, it didn’t go unnoticed that the majority of these workers are women.
At Worthy, we see selling jewelry as a way to help women fund their next chapter, whether that be returning to school, starting a business, or paying off debt to get a fresh start. Our scholarship is an extension of that same idea, allowing three women each year to achieve their academic dream. Originally launched in August 2016, we have awarded scholarships to fifteen worthy women already and are looking forward to being able to help many more women in the future.
In 2020, we received over 730 applications from across the country, with at least one applicant from each state! This year, 9% came from California, 7% from Texas, 5% from Illinois and Wisconsin respectively, 4% from New York, and 3% from Pennsylvania.
As we have seen in past years, a large number of our applicants are focusing their efforts on education, with 18% of this years’ applicants choosing that field of study. Another 17% have chosen healthcare and 8% each for mental health and nursing. We are so proud of all of our applicants for selecting such noble fields to work in, forever changing and improving the lives of others.
We also took our application as a chance to dive deeper into the challenges our applicants have faced in their lives. The biggest challenge for many of our applicants was health issues (39%). This is followed by gender inequality in the workplace (36%), and sexual assault (34%). Other challenges included domestic violence (30%), divorce (25%), and drug or alcohol abuse (13%). The fact that so many of our applicants have been able to face and overcome such difficulties in their lives makes them all the more impressive in our eyes.
This year, our applicants were asked to answer three questions in their essays, which included:
This year, our panelists included:
1st Place Winner – $2,500 – Hillary Dahl
Lesley University, currently earning a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and human services.
Hillary has faced many challenges. She is a single parent and a survivor of domestic violence. Yet she has not let these challenges bring her down in any way. In fact, she has used these challenges to begin making a positive change in her community.
Today, Hillary is using her background as a Montessori teacher to create a center for women who have suffered domestic violence. Her dream to that this center will cater to many areas of life, from mental and physical well-being to legal assistance, and, of course, to childcare and education using the Montessori method. “There was something about being a Montessori Teacher.” wrote Hillary in her essay,” that truly inspired how I looked at myself. The internal change I made in order to work on my mindfulness, and positive attitude. Even though I was a teacher, I applied the same principles to my life. I saw dramatic and positive changes. I was learning by doing and changing day by day. I wanted to share my knowledge with the world, but I also felt like I have some understanding for life around me and that adults are somewhat stubborn. But if I could do it, I knew motivated people would be able to apply the same practices.”
Working towards her ultimate goal, Hillary has already created an app for victims of domestic violence, created a support page on social media, and built a website for herself.
Our judges noted that Hilary “has vision, resilience, and hustle. She has already completed research and implemented some of her vision already.” Because of the inspiring work, she has already begun doing and plans to continue, our judges saw Hillary as the person most worthy of a scholarship of $2,500. We know that the assistance she is providing to women will surely change their lives.
2nd Place Winner – $1,500 – Temitope Asein
Masters of Management in Healthcare, University of St. Francis
Temitope has an incredible drive to achieve her goals. Although she has faced many obstacles, including immigrating to the US at the age of 25, she hasn’t let anything stop her from becoming a healthcare leader in her community.
Temitope has been working as a physical therapist for cancer patients for many years and has established a clinic for lymphedema and cancer patients. Her work in the clinic “raised my awareness of a dormant passion that I have – process improvement, quality, and process efficiency. I have realized that I can be more effective in a health care management role as I believe that my clinical skill set can be brought to bear in a management role and it is for this reason that I enrolled for the Masters in Management with a concentration in quality improvement in healthcare, as I believe a degree such as this will enable me to provide value in a management role in any healthcare organization.”
Currently, Temitope is working to “change the narrative” for patients after they finish receiving their clinical care but don’t know what the next step is. With her master’s degree, Temitope hopes she “will be able to leverage and merge my new skills with my knowledge, skills and experience in healthcare to develop functional strategies, sound decision making and high-quality patient care.”
Our panelists noted Temitope’s inspirational story, “coming to the USA at age 25 and having to be verified and take the boards in order to work as a physical therapist while raising 2 young children. Her passion and care for the cancer patients she treats shined thru her essay. I believe it takes a special soul to manage and care for cancer patients and her desire to level up to make sure they are receiving the best care and being provided the best options post-treatment is commendable.” They also saw “her interest in changing policy and healthcare structure positively pushes new boundaries to benefit others.” With these noble endeavors as her goal, our judges chose to award Temitope with a scholarship of $1,500. We know that she will put the funds towards achieving her goal of improving her patients’ lives.
3rd Place Winner – $1,000 – Erin Heise
Adult- Gerontologic Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, University of Arizona
For Erin, the path to becoming a nurse practitioner chose her. She has been telling people all her life that she wanted to serve on medical missions, something she got the chance to experience for herself in Haiti during her nursing degree.
Since then, Erin has been on the path to joining Doctors Without Borders. She is currently studying to become a nurse practitioner and learning French in order to be able to work in French-speaking African communities. During her time in Haiti, Erin “was able to help educate the communities in sexual education, as well as discuss much-needed topics during one-on-one visits with patients. This trip was enlightening, frightening, and life-altering for me. It has secured the desire of my heart and allowed the hopes to continue to travel and serve take root and dig deep into my soul. With this desire, it has also called me into looking at working for a company called Doctors Without Borders. This is a dream that someday I hope to fulfill.”
Our judges saw how Erin’s “hard work, determination, and sheer desire to succeed shines brightly.” The impressive work she has done toward achieving her goal led our panelists to award her with a scholarship of $1,000. We know these funds will go toward helping Erin bring aid across the globe.
For women over 30 and currently enrolled in a continuing education professional studies program, we at Worthy invite you to apply to our 2021 scholarship by submitting an essay that addresses one of the following topics:
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
In what way, no matter how big or how small, are you trying to change the world? How will this scholarship help you make that change and what good do you hope to bring
“All things are difficult before they are easy”
Describe a time when you were most challenged? How has that challenge affected you and/or impacted your life? What good has it brought you?
“Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit.”
What is the defining characteristic of your culture and how does that impact the work you do and the changes you want to make?
Our panel of judges will award the top three essays with scholarships of $2,500, $1,500, and $1,00 respectively in early 2022.
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