COMMUNICATOR
April 13, 2024

January Scholarship Roundup

David Friend: Learning Partners Scholarship
David Friend of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, is pursuing a master’s degree in emergency services management, a goal that is possible thanks to the CSU Learning Partner Scholarship and his membership with the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association. He previously earned his bachelor’s degree with CSU.

The husband and father of three has worked in emergency response for 15 years, serving in positions in law enforcement, fire and EMS. He also teaches at a community college, volunteers in the community and has created a support organization for fathers of children with Down syndrome.

“I feel that possessing a degree obtained through CSU will allow me to better serve my community and gain credibility in the process,” he said.

Because of all that Friend juggles, the flexibility of CSU courses is not just convenient, but necessary.

“I have completed many courses at 0200 in the parking lot of a building with public Wi-Fi, or came home following a tiring 24-hour shift to submit an assignment on time,” he said. “Formal education contributes the greatest toward mental preparedness and is the foundation for specific skills and tactical knowledge. Working alongside leaders who possess this education, many through CSU, has placed greater value on this type of program.”

Brittany Wrinn: Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship
Brittany Wrinn knows all too well the challenges of moving frequently. Her husband serves in the U.S. Air Force and they currently live in Honolulu, Hawaii. With the Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship, she hopes to attain her MBA and prove her skills to potential employers.

“Due to the nature of being a military spouse, we move frequently. Unfortunately, experience within my field is insufficient when attempting to prove that I am an eligible candidate for higher roles within my field because I have to re-establish proof of my abilities with each new location and new organization,” she said. “Obtaining my MBA will assist in providing educational proof that I am ready for the next step in my career path, especially when attached to my experience.”

A mother and Air Force veteran herself, Wrinn hopes to return to serving active duty within the next five years.

“Columbia Southern University provides me the opportunity to prove myself to the rest of the world, regardless of where life takes me professionally or where the Air Force chooses to relocate our family in the physical sense,” she said. “Regardless of what the next step in my career is, Columbia Southern University will be right there with me to help me be the best that I can be for my family, my Air Force family, our country and the world.”

Meagan Norris: CSU Safety Scholarship
Meagan Norris of Belton, South Carolina, is a mom, EMT, CPR and emergency medical responder instructor. She also volunteers as a guardian ad litem, an advocate for children who are in court system. Soon, she will also add the title “student” as she begins her bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health with a concentration in fire science, thanks to the CSU Safety Scholarship.

“When my son James was born in December of 2017, one of the things that hit me the hardest was that I want for him to grow up surrounded by positive examples,” she said. “I worried about what James would see when he watched me as he got older. I work hard, but I struggle to provide him with everything I want for him, in part because I never earned a college degree. I want my son to know that it is okay to fail, but it is not okay to give up or never start striving for something in the first place.”

Through her work as a guardian ad litem, Norris has passed along her love for firefighting and volunteerism.

“Several of the children still keep in touch today, and as they have gotten older, a few of them have expressed interest in both volunteering as guardians and as firefighters,” she said. “My advice to them has always been that they should be prepared to pour their heart into the work, but rest assured that they would find themselves growing and healed by the experience as much as the people they help would.”

To learn more about CSU’s scholarship offerings, visit ColumbiaSouthern.edu/Scholarships.

Disclaimer: These testimonials may not reflect the experience of all CSU students.
Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes.
CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.

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