Holly Stanley, a credit union branch manager in Alabaster, Ala., and Heather C. Hudson, an office manager in St. Clair County, Ill., were awarded the CSU Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship which honors the spouses and children of active-duty public safety personnel (firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMTs and dispatchers) and military men and women.
The women won the online scholarship based on their entries in the Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship essay contest sponsored by CSU.
Stanley, who is married to Andrew Stanley of the Alabaster Police Department, was excited to win the scholarship which covers tuition for up to 24 months for one specific degree program.
She said winning the scholarship was like having “a great weight lifted off of my shoulders. I have wanted to go back to school for a long time, but I have dreaded the time and expense. My husband convinced me that neither mattered as long as I accomplished my goals. This will help me do just that and not stress about the cost.”
Regarding her quest to obtain a bachelor’s in business administration, Stanley stated in her essay, “I want to get my degree so that I can provide for my family the same way my husband has and show him that his support along the way was well-founded. I want to show my daughter that a woman can run a company; she can go to college and make it pay huge dividends.”
Hudson, who is married to active-duty Air Force Master Sgt. Shawn Hudson, said, “Winning this contest is the second most exciting news I’ve received in the past two years. The first was the news that I was pregnant with my daughter. It is so important for me to be a great role model for my 11-month-old daughter and my 16-year-old son.”
She said her husband, who has served in the military for more than 20 years and is a current CSU student, inspired her to examine the online university “His experience with CSU has been very positive. He suggested that I should look into taking classes at CSU because of the ability to take classes from home,” Hudson said. “While browsing CSU’s website, I came across the Hero Behind the Hero scholarship and felt an inner need to apply and tell my story.”
She added that the opportunity to pursue an online bachelor’s degree in information technology “means success, achievement and stability. The scholarship will assist me with achieving a degree which will in turn give me the ability to provide more for my family financially by attaining better employment.”
Learn more about the scholarship at www.ColumbiaSouthern.edu/Hero.