The North Mecklenburg Woman's Club honored five women who have decided to further their education.
Each year, through an application process, recipients get scholarships of $2,000 each. Individuals are chosen based on need, commitment to their community and grades.
Although each woman who received a scholarship followed a different path in life, one thing bound them together. They all decided as adults to return to school and follow a passion. They were all grateful, some even emotional, as they accepted the scholarship money that would help them attain their dreams.
The five scholarship recipients are:
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Suzanne McAlexander, 49, of Huntersville is enrolled at Cabarrus College of Health Sciences as an occupational therapy assistant. She has a degree in computer science from UNC Charlotte. After being laid off from a 13-year career in computer programming, McAlexander decided to make a change. She did a lot of research and decided that occupational therapy was the right move for her. McAlexander has two daughters who will be in college soon. She likes setting a good example for them. "They can see the dedication, perseverance and just plain hard work of what it takes to learn the material and make good grades," said McAlexander.
Caroline Ivester, 21, of Cornelius is a UNC Charlotte political science major. She plans to go to Charlotte School of Law upon graduation this year and become a lawyer for children's issues and advocacy.
Ivester said this award has inspired her to give back to her community. She feels blessed that the club believes in her and is supporting her goals. "This scholarship is especially important to me because it relieves the financial stress of how much debt I will have when I get out of law school," said Ivester.
Jamie Roseman, 30, of Cornelius is attending Queens University of Charlotte to obtain her bachelor's in nursing. She received a promotion in January to assistant nurse manager for the mother/baby unit at Presbyterian Hospital. One of the requirements was to obtain her nursing degree.
She says she has a passion for working with newborns and plans to continue that path after she graduates.
Rebecca Oliver, 21, of Cornelius is a Hopewell graduate who is now attending N.C. State as a biological sciences major. She is in a work-study program in the zoology department. She plans to attend the anesthesiology assistant master's program.
She grew up in Cornelius and would like to stay close to home after getting her degree.
Michelene Williams Nicholas, 38, of Charlotte is attending CPCC as a business administration major. She plans to transfer to UNC Charlotte to complete a bachelor's degree in business administration. She has been in the financial industry for 17 years.
As a working adult without children, Nicholas found it impossible to get financial help for her degree. During her tearful acceptance speech, she was thankful to have the opportunity to pursue her degree without incurring large amounts of debt. She wants to teach financial education seminars once she receives her degree in addition to keeping her current career.
The club raises money each year for the scholarships through its annual fall fashion show extravaganza.