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Michigan Credit Union League

LAFCU Helps 3 Women Pursue Delayed Careers

LAFCU has awarded college scholarships to three women in the Lansing area who are pursuing education needed for careers that have been postponed by life circumstances.

Tricia Miller (Lansing), Tess Poynter (Williamston) and Sarah Rigney (Mason) each received a $1,000 scholarship to Lansing Community College (LCC) through the Michigan credit union’s Women Helping Educate Every Lady (W.H.E.E.L.) Essay Contest.

The W.H.E.E.L. Essay Contest provides scholarships for adult women who need higher education for employment, re-employment or to move into new careers to improve their lives.

“The 2020 winners of LAFCU’s W.H.E.E.L. program are inspirational in their pursuit of education,” said Kelli Ellsworth Etchison, LAFCU chief marketing officer and chief diversity officer. “Life circumstances prevented them from attaining a traditional path to a career, and they are demonstrating that it’s never too late to do what you love and make an impact.”

Winners were determined by their one-page essay on their educational and career goals, why they want to pursue them now and their inspiration for pursuing them.

Miller is returning to LCC to complete the nursing degree she started 21 years ago.

“I wanted a career in medicine before marriage and children,” recalled Miller. “While taking care of my elderly parents five years ago I realized I was still passionate about caring for others, and there was still time. I would have never guessed I’d be in college at the same time as my two children, and we would be comparing homework and professors.”

Poynter is entering college for the first time, four years after attending high school. She developed mental health issues in high school that prevented her from graduating with her class. After getting proper treatment and earning a GED diploma, she’s ready to start the education needed to become a psychotherapist.

“I want to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Poynter. “I’m focusing on mental illness because I want to help erase the stigma surrounding it and help those afflicted with it by showing them there is a way out and that they are capable of a fulfilling life.”

Rigney also realized nursing was her calling after providing end-of-life care for a relative. She hasn’t been in a classroom since 2007, when she completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Central Michigan University.

“I see a wonderful world, but there are too many people hurting,” said Rigney. “When we see need, we don’t have to remain in a stagnant situation. I’m also motivated to be a good example for my children. It’s never too late to make a difference.”

Eligible applicants were Michigan residents, LAFCU’s geographic service area, but were not required to be LAFCU members. The scholarships support credit unions’ long-standing “people helping people” mission.

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2020-11-17 00:00:00