MEET PAULA P.
Paula P. 21-year-old senior at the university of Colorado-Boulder majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
Growing up in Colombia, Paula always had food on the table and a roof over her head, as well as an incredible educational opportunity, yet at an early age she was aware of the chasm between classes. She realized that many of her country’s population suffered from a lack of the basic necessities of life, such as clean drinking water. The love of her countrymen and her interest in STEM led her to design and create a rolling device that not only helped the poor transport water to their homes many miles away but by using “rotational energy” to purify the water.
Paula earned a full scholarship to Florida International University but after 2 years she saw that the classes she was required to take did not move her closer to her true desire; helping the less fortunate of the world to obtain the basic natural resources…power, water, food, and shelter.
As a student involved in STEM she has helped Native Alaskan communities by analyzing water challenges and helping overcome the water issues facing them. Paula has help design solar power systems for rural communities in Argentina and aided Engineers Without Borders design rainwater collection systems in Rwanda.
Paula’s burning curiosity and drive to serve others are just two of the qualities the CKMEF looks for in all recipients and we see Paula accomplishing great things in the near future.
MEET TAYLOR T.
Taylor T. is a 18-year-old freshman at the University of Georgia pursuing a double major in Human Development/Family Sciences and Political Science.
Taylor is a bundle of energy; involved in dozens of clubs and activities. Honor Roll and Dean’s list, Debate Club, Christian Youth Camp, Food2Kids, University Judicial Board, Delta Gamma Sorority, Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, all this, while suffering with a dysfunctional and toxic home life.
Her prospects of going to college were stifled due to the meager funds her parents earned. Taylor knew, just as many other students across America, that a college education would be up to her. She has availed herself of all the programs that are available to her but to earn a double major degree Taylor has had to become creative in finding funds to continue her education.
Her personal goal is to graduate with a dual bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in Political Science and Human Development and Family Sciences and pursue a law degree, toward becoming a voice for children in challenging situations by specializing in family and divorce law.
The CKMEF is impressed with the perseverance, passion, and dedication that Taylor displays and proudly supports her in her academic endeavors.
MEET CAITLIN C.
Caitlin C. is a 19-year-old sophomore attending University of California- Riverside majoring in neuroscience and pediatrics.
Caitlin has an emphatic soul which can be seen by her community, through all the organizations, she has dedicated herself to.
Caitlin has been involved with the Make-A-Wish foundation for the last 6 years. She has worked in all areas of the organization that are available to a student such as fundraising, publicity and public relations. Caitlin has also volunteered for UNICEF for the last two years to help the children of third world countries. She is involved with the ASPCA by creating and running the Animal Lovers Club on UCR campus.
Being an immigrant from war torn Vietnam, Caitlin has experienced racism firsthand. She has seen the chasm in health care between the haves and the have nots…especially related to minority groups. As an aspiring physician, she not only desires to close this chasm but stamp out racism in health care. However, she is a realist and knows that it may take a generation or more to accomplish her desire. Caitlin wishes to give back to society and help those who cannot help themselves. This is but one of the many reasons we are proud support Caitlin financially in her quest.
MEET CASEY L.
Casey L. 22-year-old- senior attending Florida Atlantic University, majoring in Biochemistry, with the goal of becoming a biomedical researcher.
Casey, an immigrant from Albania, had the cards of life stacked against her…
homelessness, abusive family life, an alcoholic father coupled with relatives with schizophrenia. She experienced loss of family members to war, as well as all experiencing firsthand the brutality of a corrupt and abusive Communistic regimen. At 18 she had to learn a new language and culture upon coming to America.
Her accomplishments have landed her on the Dean’s list 4 years in row. Casey is the president of the stream club at FAU, the founder of the American Medical Student Association at FAU. Casey has created learning programs to improve the education of others. She applied and was accepted in the Student Instructor program while enrolled at FAU. Casey has proven that she deserves a scholarship, by showing the desire, drive, and determination to become the person and the professional she wants to be no matter the struggle. Casey is an example of what the CKMEF looks for in all recipients.
MEET PARIS K.
Paris K. knew that she wanted to be a veterinarian the day she found herself in a compromising situation with a gaseous bovine.
Paris K. is a 19-year-old Sophomore at Mississippi State University carrying a 4.0 GPA.
What makes Paris exceptional is that she was traumatized numerous times, each trauma different from the other causing her severe depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and a slew of other issues. This would cause someone of lesser stamina to drop out, give up hope…but through help from her family and more importantly from the disabled community of fellow students that she works with, not to be defined by her trauma, but redefined herself. She set out to prove to the world that she has a right to be a whole and healthy person, to reach for, strive accomplish and attain the goals she has set for herself.
She may not change the world on a grand scale, but through her studies and interaction with the disabled, and using animals to help heal the injured (internally, externally, physically, mentally, and emotionally). She will change this world one person and one animal at a time.
We here at the CKMEF wish her the best of luck on her educational journey.
MEET NANCY D.O.
Nancy D. O. is a non-traditional student attending Goddard College to earn a Master of Fine Arts while living and working in Los Angeles.
A Choreographer/Director, Dancer, Dance Educator, Writer, Actor. Nancy has been involved in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, American Princess, VEEP, and Ratched.” She has performed, on tour, with the National Tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera and started her love of dance with the famous Joffrey Ballet. She has choreographed music videos, commercials, and television and film projects. She is clearly multitalented.
The CKMEF sees Nancy D.O. as a benefactor of the world at large. She is a mentor and educator, a warrior woman fighting the destructive forces in the present-day society of racism, gender bias, and misogyny, through dance, music, and all the arts…Nancy knows that change only comes with the enhancement of knowledge and knowledge is power.
With her forward thinking and progressive mindset, we at the CKMEF, know that Nancy will accomplish all her goals while making a difference in our society. We are proud to help Nancy D.O. change the world one dance at a time.
MEET LISETTE P.
Lisette P. is a 21-year-old senior at the University of Missouri majoring in Natural Resource Science Management and a Certificate of Sustainability.
Lisette is the child of Mexican immigrants. Raise in the southside of Chicago, she experienced the lack of ecological resources that much of the U.S. population never has to be concerned about…i.e., clean drinking water. As she started to move into the adult workplace, she started to experience racism and bias because of her being a minority woman of color.
It wasn’t until Lisette started to take college course that she realized the disparity that placed waste facilities in the areas where minorities lived as well as the lack of clean air and clean water in those same areas.
This was one of the many experiences that helped lead her to the path of Natural Resource Policy. This awareness has set her path on changing society on all levels. The push to end racism. The desire for equality not only for minorities but for the whole world. She seeks to improve the health of the ecological life of this planet not just by voicing opinion and attending parades but by doing the nitty gritty work of construction, passing, and implementing policy that makes big corporations and politicians “tow the line” to help this world heal.
Lisette’s choice to do the hard work so that others in society may benefit is the one of the many reasons that the CKMEF proudly support her financially in her educational endeavors.
MEET DERRICK W.
Derrick is a Second-Year Biology Pre-Medicine Major with a Minor in Chemistry from the historic Montgomery, Alabama. He attends college at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana where he is an active member of the N.A.A.C.P., Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (M.A.P.S.) and serves as a 2020-2021 United Negro College Fund (U.N.C.F. ) Student Ambassador, and Residential Life Community Assistant for his esteemed institution. In Fall of 2019, Derrick was one of two freshmen selected to attend the Human Rights Campaign’s HBCU Leadership Summit: Leading In Truth in Washington, D.C. Derrick is a committed and spirited young man that cares deeply for the world and people around him. He amassed numerous awards and honors such as the Montgomery County Optimistic Student Leadership Award in his hometown, selected to serve as a University S.T.E.M. Academy Mentor, received the Alabama State University (Amazing Students Putting In Resilient Effort) A.S.P.I.R.E. Program Most Positive Award, and the recipient of the Inaugural Jamari T. Williams Act of Kindness Award, just to name a few. Education is Derrick’s utmost priority; he completed his freshman year with a stellar cumulative G.P.A. which has attained him a spot on the university Dean’s List. After undergraduate, Derrick plans to pursue medical school with hopes of becoming aboard-certified pediatrician. As a pediatrician, he wants to serve the underserved, underprivileged, and underrepresented in his hometown community. Derrick has a passion for learning, growing, and serving. To him, service is the very purpose of life and should be done ungrudgingly. We are proud to support him in his efforts for higher education!
MEET GARY L.
A 50-year-old non-traditional student who attends Middlesex Community College in Connecticut, majoring in Social Work, with the goal of attending UCONN next summer. Gary has experienced more that his share of troubles: poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, incarceration, just to name a few. If anyone had the right to surrender, it is Gary…but in the face of huge odds has made the conscience decision to turn his life around. He realized that to better himself, he had to help others, to give rather than take. Since returning to school he has won a Presidential Bronze Award, a certificate of appreciation from the Connecticut Attorney General, has worked with U.S. Senators from Connecticut on the states homeless policy and brought a food bank truck to Middlesex for students to help them with food anxiety, and runs it in his spare time. His goal is to build a transition house facility to help those who are experiencing the same struggles he has gone through, to share his knowledge as to how troubled individuals can turn their life around. The attributes that Gary displays are what the CKMEF looks for in a recipient. The CKMEF is proud to present Gary with a financial award to contribute to the continuing costs of his pursuit of a higher education.
MEET MARSHA N.
Ms. Marsha N is: An educator of 23 years. Teacher of the year. A mentor. A state finalist for the Presidential Award in Science. Passionate about students learning. Enlighted. Creative and Innovative. Enthusiastic for student’s success. A committed lifelong learner. Her positive attitude, love of her students, technology and STEM has placed her on a quest of a Doctorate of Education at the American College of Education. Her desire to empower her students to become 21st century learners through implementation of effective instructional strategies that increases academic rigor and ensure long term retention of that knowledge drives her passion to improve poverty stricken Title 1 schools to function at the same academic ability as students from larger, wealthier districts.The CKMEF is extremely proud to support Marsha N in the efforts to add another diploma to her impressive resume.
MEET ORION R.
This 29 -year-old transgender graduate student majoring in Interdisciplinary Theater Studies at the University of Wisconsin has accomplished during their time in college what most don’t accomplish until well in to their 30’s.Graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors. Created the TransGenderTalks program. Robert Skloot Award for Research, Program in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison Purple and Old Gold Award for Meritorious Scholarship, University of Northern Iowa Mary Ann Bolton Undergraduate Research Award, University of Northern Iowa Distinguished Scholars Award, University of Northern Iowa University of Northern Iowa Student Employee of the Year Nominee, 2018 & 2019 Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honors Society Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society. Scene D Theatre Project, Cedar Falls, IA, Co-Founder and Artistic Director (2018-present) UnityPoint Health Cedar Falls, IA LGBTQ Clinic — Steering & Advisory Committees (2017-present) Midwestern Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference (MBLGTACC) — Oversight Committee (2018-2019) University of Wisconsin–Madison Theatre & Drama Graduate Student Organization — Treasurer (2020-2021) Waterloo Community Playhouse — Volunteer Usher (2016-2019) As a Transgender individual Orion is an outspoken advocate for the T/G community. Not just though word but through action. Orion created Scene D. an artistic theatre troop made up of LGBTQ+ individuals who might never get the chance to be involved in a production due to their age, gender, ability, size, or race; who might not otherwise receive a chance to be “center stage”. Through Orion’s advocacy, others in the T/G community may now have the same hope and dreams. Orion’s goal is to see that the T/G community is not treated differently than the rest of society. The CKMEF proudly awards Orion a financial award in pursing their dream.
MEET KAITLYN B.
Kaitlyn B. is a 19-year-old go getter despite her handicap. In Kaitlyn’s freshman year in high school she became disabled. After multiple hospital stays Kaitlyn was diagnosed with Ehles Danlos Syndrome (EDS). As avalanches of symptoms consumed her and her health spiraled out of control, she found her true calling. The power of the written word. Through her writing she has become and advocate of EDS as well as many other issues that she may face her. In fact, it is her handicap that has made her think outside the box to be the problem solver she has become. Kaitlyn’s ability to overcome traumatic obstacles has placed her on a path to help others overcome their own difficulties through the power of the written word.Kaitlyn is currently taking on a double major in Human Rights and Hispanic study on a pre-law track at Columbia University NYC.Kaitlyn exhibits the talents that the CKMEF look for in any recipient, but Kaitlyn goes the extra mile by being eloquent as well as be thoughtful, insightful and empathetic toward others.
MEET BRIANA B.
GOAL ORIENTED, BALANCED, OVER ACHIEVER, LEADER, ROLE MODEL
These are just a few of the many attributes that have been used to describe Ms. B. Her clear-cut vision of who and what she desires to be accomplish and to become is what the CKMEF looks for in a candidate.A 20-year-old Sophomore, Briana has enrolled in the University of West Florida where she is studying to obtain her degree in Political Science.Briana has not had the advantages that other recipients of a CKMEF award may have had. From overcoming extreme adversity starting at a young age, Briana learned that she could only rely on herself to achieve what she wants from life. Working full-time while maintaining a GPA of 3.5 with a full class load to gain her degree all the while being a full time leader in the Air Force R.O.T.C Program, CKMEF is happy to help her fly high in achieving her dreams.
MEET RENEE M.
Ms. M. has experienced much upheaval in her life starting at young age. Some external. Some internal. Through all the up and downs of her life, it was her artistic talent that keep her on an even keel. After an unpleasant youth, some selfcare and introspection, Renee found her true self. Upon entering the University of Arizona as an undergraduate working toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Renee started to find clarity. With this clarity and guidance from her professors and other mentors, Renee was able to see her true potential resulting in a 3.81 GPA . Renee volunteers at several organizations i.e. the LGBTQ Resource Center, the Southern Arizona AIDS foundation, Filipino American Student Association. Her desire to give back, plus her strong belief in activism fulfills her need to help her community and society. Renee found a strong belief in activism through art. It is said that a picture tells a thousand words, and one picture can move many to action. Many individuals give back to society though one-to- one interaction; Renee has chosen to reach thousands through art. Renee has overcome so many issues with resolve, poise, determination. We believe that persevering through these traumas and holding on to her desire to give back to others, is what our Fund looks for in a recipient. We are pleased to award Renee a scholarship from CKMEF.
MEET LILITH F.
Detailed Oriented, Meticulous, Leader, Reliant, Motivator, Personable, Embodiment of Education, of Service, and of Employment; these are the earmarks of Lilith. They are also just a few of the accolades that were heard when her referral sources were interviewed by the Carolyn Kelly Memorial Education Fund Screening board. Common themes were the empathy she has shown for her friends and her fellow students, her willingness to help others who will one day be following in her footsteps and her consistently thinking about not just society today but the society of the future. Given the time investment required for an undergraduate in pre-med with a 3.68 GPA, at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, CKEMF was astounded by the myriad of extracurricular programs Lilith is involved with: Intern for after school programs for children, including Therapeutic Equestrian horsemanship, assistant SUNY SA Deputy Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and involvement with the Education Initiatives Committee of the Faculty Council of Community Colleges, to list only a few. Finding candidates like Lilith who demonstrate the drive and the desire to improve the lives of others are what CKMEF is all about. We are pleased to offer Lilith financial support as she strives to attain her degree in medicine.
MEET RACHELE M.
Rachele shows us an example of what many of America’s college bound youth experience, when they head to college. A willingness to work hard at their education yet unsure of their future once they have graduated. Many college students start over and change their focus when their curriculum is not what they needed or wanted. Rachele’s first attempt was at a non -traditional university that gave her an education but her did not prepare her for life after college. Being an artist, the LGBTQ Queer Rock Camp for Youth drew Rachele to help queer youth for several summers. She volunteered her time to help make an empowering and positive impact on queer youth. This effort and her need to give back to society led her to Americorps, Youth in Service program, which in turn led her to a local tribal school, working with native Indian youth and youth of color. To teach, one must have a bachelor’s degree. So, after 4 years of higher education, she has return to college to attain her bachelor’s degree. Rachele is moving forward on her chosen path by attending Western Governor’s University and carrying a 3.67 GPA while continuing to work at with the local tribal school full time.
Rachele possess the willingness to help others and the drive to improve, so she may help those who are marginalized, underprivileged and disenfranchise. The CKMEF gladly give our financial support to Rachele.
MEET MIRANDA C.
Eco-activist, curious, deep thinker, social activist, educator, a steward of the earth. These are just a few of the qualities that describe Miranda C. At the young age of 21, Miranda has thrown herself whole-heartedly into the pursuit of a college degree in psychology and animal studies, but she is not defined solely by love of animals. Miranda, as a college senior at Eckerd College in Florida, is a deep thinker and therefore curious, often questioning the answers. Carrying an overall 4.0 GPA average has earned Miranda placement on the Dean’s List 4 years in a row (2016-2019). She is a lover of art, delves into philosophy, is a believer in social justice and equality for all…but most of all, is a steward of this planet and all the creatures that reside here. Education of her fellow man is her belief as to how we can heal this planet. Her desire to help this world and more importantly others, is what we at the Carolyn Kelly Memorial Education Fund look for in an award recipient. Through her volunteering and involvement in numerous college groups and organizations (Eckerd College Women’s Resource Center, FL Condensed Volunteer/Laboratory Intern, to name a few), Miranda has given herself a well-rounded education ensuring her success not only after college but in life as well. We are pleased to have Miranda C. as a recipient of a CKMEF award. We wish her good luck in her efforts and look forward to watching her achieve great things.
MEET EDITH G.
Edith’s life is a shining example of the burning desire that has given strength to America. She was born in rural Mexico, an immigrant with a hardscrabble life, and from an early age wanting more from life. She left her home, family and friends with the willingness to fight for the right to succeed. No matter how many times she fell, she got back up and kept moving toward her goal. Yet at the same time she maintained her desire to help those she loves and cares for as well as those creatures who do not have the ability to speak for themselves. To have suffered all the injustice, inequality, and the absence of basic needs that many of us take for granted, while always pulling herself up, dusting herself off and moving forward to her goals, are the qualities that led to her to become a CKEMF recipient. While enrolled as an undergraduate at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, Edith has stayed on course to ensure everything she does helps her progress to graduating with a degree in Biology and Communications. Yet still finds time to help those in need. Whether it is as an EMT on campus, a Resident Assistant, working in the financial aid office, tutoring and mentoring first year students or helping with a Holocaust Memorial. It is hard to believe that Edith find the time to study while maintaining a 3.48 GPA. The fortitude, determination and the drive to succeed, not just for a better life for herself, but a better life for her family, her community and our society, makes the Carolyn Kelly Memorial Fund excited to support Edith in her financial endeavors.
MEET ANNA E.
Responsibility was thrust upon Anna’s shoulders at a very young age. With a military mother deployed frequently in the field and a father who was there in body only, Anna had to care for, watch over and protect her siblings. She had innocence ripped from her at an early age. Raised in different lands and cultures around the world, Anna was given a perspective of the struggles of everyday living that most of us can scarcely imagine. With all this, she has persevered; realizing that only through a college education could she truly help herself and her siblings. Becoming a young mother expanded her view of the world. Now at 38 years of age, she has taken on the responsibility to improve this world for the next generation.
Because of her ability to overcome adversity and by moving toward a law degree in juvenile justice at the University of Arizona James E Rogers School of Law, she has shown her commitment to help society by giving back to military families.
At this time in her life, while carrying 17 units per semester, caring for husband and children, working a fulltime job, and receiving an EMT license/ Certificate in Applied Science, as well as being in the midst of attaining a master’s degree, Anna has found the time to oversees two charities that she has created:
One, Our Hearts for Children, provides hot meals for school age children to take home on non-school days.
The other is Operation Toothbrush for Homeless Veterans providing resources and information on mental health care, personal care and housing for homeless Veterans.
Anna represents what the CKMEF seeks in all recipients. We are pleased to award Anna a Carolyn Kelly Memorial Education Fund scholarship.
September 26, 2019
MEET MORGAN C.
The Carolyn Kelly Memorial Education Fund is proud to announce its inaugural scholarship recipient is Morgan C. of Arizona. She was selected based on her academic accomplishments, her civic involvement, her goals, and her expansive extracurricular interests. An 18-year-old freshman, Morgan has enrolled at the University in the Southwest of the United States where she will be majoring in both Astronomy and Geophysics, while minoring in math and physics. Morgan C. has received awards for participating in government at all levels, and has excelled at everything she has participated in, from a 4.0 GPA to sports (soccer, Captain of the varsity track team), as well as being involved as president of her high school social club and environmental club. With so much going on in Morgan’s life it is a surprise that she has time to play the drums, which she does for fun. We at the Carolyn Kelly Memorial Education Fund are proud to present Morgan with a scholarship that provides a significant contribution toward the costs of her higher education. We are excited to help her achieve her dreams as she soars to new heights.
Morgan letting off steam and having fun!