Kimberly Feller of Orem, Utah, is the recipient of the 2019 Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) scholarship.
Feller’s husband, who was a law enforcement officer, passed away from cancer. She is now a single mother taking care of their 13-year-old son.
“I was feeling like I wasn’t moving forward in life to where I really wanted to be; nothing seemed to have any brightness,” said Feller. “It was just after my sweetheart had died and I just felt like I was in a rut. So naturally, I began to pray.”
Feller received an email from C.O.P.S. with information about Columbia Southern University only a day or two after that prayer. Months later, she is now looking forward to completing her Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership.
“The importance of education was instilled deeply when I was growing up and I want to be able to show my son that no matter what happens in life, to never give up, keep moving forward and bettering ourselves,” she said. “To have this scholarship, I could pay for the classes I need to get my B.S. degree, and hopefully better our situation down the road. Most importantly, show my son that anything is possible.”
Rachel Butterworth of Sierra Vista, Arizona, is the latest recipient of the Hero Behind the Hero scholarship, a scholarship that recognizes family members of active-duty military, public safety personnel and members of the National Guard. Butterworth’s husband Kevin currently serves in the U.S. Army.
“I was so fortunate to have a co-worker tell me about Columbia Southern’s online degree program,” she said. “Having the flexibility to go to school online, especially being a military spouse, will be beneficial for any unexpected moves. Without this opportunity, I may have to be away from my family or not able to finish a program if I went to a local school.”
Butterworth is pursuing a master’s degree in occupational safety and health and environmental management. Her career in public health began with a job in the wellness department at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She became passionate about the “impact and importance” of public health, she began working at the county health department when her husband was stationed in Arizona.
“As a young girl, I was always concerned about the safety of my family and friends and what we put in our bodies. I was constantly looking at expiration dates to ensure that we were in compliance. This may be funny, but this is what started my passion for health and safety,” she said. “Food inspection and compliance is a small part of health and safety, so with this degree, I will have the chance to gain more knowledge and a better skillset to work in the entire environmental health division.”
Butterworth has aspirations of working in the environmental health division in a local or state health department.