Amber Sell submitted 2020-07-30

To whom this may concern,

Understanding the importance of an education was ingrained into me at the ripe age of 7 years old while helping my mother with a janitorial service by clean office buildings so we could afford our home and food. I still recall the stench of urine on the bathroom floors I had to mop; thinking to myself as I wiped away urine splatters and pubic hair, “When I grow up, I never want my children to experience this.” My grandmother was from a time that believed women just simply got married and was taken care of by their husband, so an education was not needed by a woman therefore was not reinforced. A faulty thought process that left both my mother and grandmother at a disadvantage in life. My mother ensured I understood the importance of obtaining an education which was reinforced by the long 12-hour days she worked as a single parent 5 days a week for 30+ years on top of the cleaning service.

Life has an uncanny way of shaping you and sometimes forcing you to grow. Knowing my daughters’ father for 18 years when I became pregnant, I never imagined I would be a single parent myself. Lack of support on his behalf with a newborn baby in the middle of a nursing program leading to my decision to resign 6 weeks prior to graduating in 2016. I could not take the chance of a medication error due to my stressful situation. How could I live with myself if I hurt someone? I was devastated, especially when I found out my position at my job was filled when I asked to come. Being tenacious by refusing to give up on my dreams I retook 3 semesters and graduated with my ADN 2018. Unfortunately, the reality of being a single mother with absolutely no support as her father moved out of state and my family is over an hour away quickly made me realize I am unable to realistically work outside business hours. How can I be at my job at 6:30 am when my daycare opens at that time? My only option at this point is more education so that I have a fighting chance for a stable job instead of my current situation as per-diem struggling to pay my bills as I fight to keep a roof over our heads.

Currently I am receiving food stamps to help us get through this difficult time and was receiving some assistance from friends and family, however, due to the turn of the economy my resources have unexpectedly become barren. I am afraid as winter is approaching, I may not survive another upper respiratory infection like I had in March if we cannot afford to run the heater. Tests for Covid-19 where not available at that time. I was born premature with underdeveloped lungs and have been hospitalized many times as a child due to bronchitis which causes scarring in the lungs making one more susceptible to infections like Covid. The sad reality is I do not have the luxury of dying when there is no one to care for my little one so illness is not an option. Every time I think finally, we will not have to struggle! Life is going to get better! I am met with a roadblock. I have faith that life continues to set up these roadblocks propelling me forward to be here at WGU so that one day I can help people see the same light I followed where I’ve made it almost out of this dark tunnel. To mentor individuals that are going through unforeseen situations, giving them faith to keep going like I did. Will you be that last nudge? Will you help us get through this winter? I hope that you can find it in your heart to help me make good on my empty promises to my sweet baby. You can only tell a 4-year-old “Mommy has to get smart so we can do fun things” for so long before they stop believing you. With your help well make it through this last hurdle so that I can give back to the community as I hope to inspire other single women that anything is possible if you believe. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story and consider me for a scholarship.