Women’s Education Fund supports non-traditional students

Completing college can be particularly challenging for non-traditional students, who juggle many responsibilities that often include working full-time and taking care of children. To help address this need, the Women’s Education Fund Scholarship provides support for female, non-traditional students showing academic promise.

The effort began in 2010 through a group of women attending an annual holiday luncheon hosted by Dr. Martha Nesbitt, former president of Gainesville State College. That annual event still provides support for the fund and is an opportunity to recognize scholarship recipients.

Additionally, the Women of UNG, a shared interest group for alumnae, faculty, staff, and students from all UNG campuses, supports the fund, as a portion of the group’s annual dues goes toward the scholarship fund.

Celina Becerra, a first-year biology major at UNG, was awarded the annual Women’s Educational-Fund Scholarship through the UNG Foundation in 2015. Becerra is a non-traditional student who balances a 4.0 grade point average with being a wife and a mother of two. She applied for the scholarship because it was promoted as “helping people like her.”

“They help hard-working moms achieve their dreams,” Becerra said. “This scholarship gives us hope and support, which I am very thankful for.”

To apply, Becerra submitted an essay describing how the scholarship would benefit her and how it would make a difference in pursuit of her education.

“I came to the states about 13 years ago. I spoke very little English, but I learned the basics after six months of being here. It took me a few years to get a GED, then I decided to achieve a professional career. I am the first generation in my family to attend college, and I am doing this not only for me, but also to change the path for my two daughters,” she said.

Since 2010, 27 female students have received scholarships from the Women’s Education Fund and more than $24,500 has been awarded.