Feb 05, 2013

A Columbia State Student Blog - By Leslie Kelly

My name is Leslie Kelly, and I am currently in my second semester at Columbia State. I have decided to pursue higher education later in my life, much later. I am a single mom with three children and realize the importance of not only becoming a graduate for myself, but setting a good example for my children. My aspirations are to complete my Associates Degree and transfer to a four year university to pursue a Bachelors Degree. My intended major is in Public Relations. I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of Mass Communications, but my propensity is in dealing with people. I am very excited about learning and the opportunities offered by Columbia State, but also look forward to all there is for me to discover in the process!

As a single mother, attaining your educational goal can get expensive. Although Columbia State is a great value, costing less than a four year institution, we have to be very creative and ingeniously research different avenues to offset the cost. In my scholarship and grant investigation, I have become a fan of various websites that offer scholarship opportunities. One in particular that has helped me, is Fastweb.com.

After filling out some basic personal information, this site continuously contacts you with potentially matching financial aid. It was within this site that I came across an essay contest sponsored by Cancer Monthly Organization. The scholarship is funded by the James "Rhio" O'Connor Memorial Fund. Mr. O'Connor was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a terminal form of cancer. His struggles and perseverance allowed him to live many years longer than he was given.

This contest is very special to my heart because my mother died from cancer. I drew inspiration from her and my six year old daughter, Trinity, in order to create an essay that is incredibly rewarding. Getting to know the story behind Rhio and how he fought this disease really encouraged me to be forward thinking. This, in itself, is a great honor, but winning this scholarship would definitely be a bonus. Please click here to read my essay.

Are you a current Columbia State student interested in posting a blog on www.ColumbiaState.edu? If so, please email webmaster@columbiastate.edu.