Foundation Scholarship Student Dawn Hammer

Foundation Scholarship Student Dawn Hammer


I was married very young. I was 19 years old when I had my first child. And in that marriage, I was very much taken care of by my ex-husband. I didn’t really have any education or resources of my own so when we divorced, I found myself early 30s, 2…one teenager, one younger child that I was fully responsible for. I was not getting any sort of child support, financial support in any way. I was really struggling. I was…had always been working but at very low paying jobs as is the case when you don’t have a higher education or particular skill set. I had definitely gotten to a little bit of a desperation point. I wasn’t sure what I was gonna do. I had always wanted to go to college and it never seemed feasible for me, and I literally just found myself in the parking lot at Pierce College Puyallup, sort of standing outside of the administration building and thinking to myself, “Well, what do I have to lose? $25 bucks right? It’s my registration fee. I’ll go in and see if I can do it.” I definitely had the sense of like I guess taking ownership for a change over my future and like my destiny. Like this was just something I had done on my own and it felt really good. I liked walking in and I felt this sort of bustle of energy and you know, students were looking very focused and heading to class and everyone from the gal at Financial Aid to the gal who took my check were very friendly and welcoming. I just sort of felt like, like I was in the right place at the right time. So, I actually applied for a foundation scholarship my very first quarter at Pierce. It was, you know I was going through all the financials online. I had made a couple of appointments with the financial aid office just to find out what possibilities I had. The one nice thing about being a single mom returning to school in a particular age bracket was that there actually were a lot of opportunities available for me. When I got that first reward, I think it was like $750 a quarter, and it was…it was just perfect. It was like the amount that I needed to sort of bring it all together, just to make sure that I could buy my textbooks on time and I got to like ease back on some of my work and things like that because you know, every little bit helps and getting to focus on classes instead of having to take time out for maybe a second job or something was paramount to my success in those classes. College is hard. It takes a lot of time. The recent scholarship that I received from the Fox Foundation, through Pierce College Foundation was an incredibly generous $1,500 a quarter, and that completely covered all of my tuition, all of my fees. If I wanted to take an online hybrid class that works the best for my schedule, that additional fee is totally covered. As of right now, I’m choosing to study both communications and law and policy because I have really been exposed throughout my lifetime but definitely through some of my favorite professors at Pierce to our current criminal justice system and a lot of the social institutions that are systemically not catering to people of a lower social or a class structure. So I’d like to be a voice for the voiceless. I don’t know that I can adequately innumerate all of the ways in which the Pierce College Foundation scholarship money that I have received has helped me and my family. Specifically, the generosity of the Fox Foundation scholarship, which is covering in full my quarterly tuition, has been nothing short of monumental. As a parent, partner, part-time worker and full-time student, my responsibilities are often competing. The scholarship has given me the gift of time. I don’t have to worry about deciding between completing a homework assignment, helping my son complete his or scrambling to find more part-time work. Instead, I’m able to focus on my goal to be more present with my family and to immerse myself in my studies for anyone who has ever given to the Pierce College Foundation and has contributed to the type of support that I am receiving, please know that we as recipients are working hard to prove that the investment you made in us is worth it. My spur of the moment decision to attend Pierce College has resulted in a definitive transformation. My trajectory has been forever altered. It is aimed now at a future ripe with possibilities that could not have existed without this college experience. I hope that some day, I will be sitting where you are now, a proud Pierce College alumna, able to donate both funds and time in order to give back to a deserving student just as you have done for me.

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