Lewis Center, Ohio Mother Receives Full-Tuition Scholarship to Ashford University

Chappell-Bates, One of 6,000 Project Working Mom Applicants, Awarded Scholarships on Tyra Banks Show

Celeste Chappell-Bates, who graduated from high school 29 years ago, has been awarded an Ashford University full-tuition scholarship as a part of Project Working Mom. 

She was informed that she had won on the set of The Tyra Banks Show. She and two other Project Working Mom applicants were guests on the April 27 broadcast. The women shared their stories and explained how a college degree would impact their lives. At the end of the segment, all the guests were informed they were winners. 

"I was absolutely stunned – it was a watershed moment between the impossible and the possible," Chappell-Bates said. "I'd tried to complete my degree my entire adult life and so many things kept getting in the way – finances being the biggest obstacle – and that was taken away in an instant. It was unbelievable, a huge blessing," to earn the scholarship, Chappell-Bates submitted an essay about her higher education aspirations. Her entry was selected out of more than 6,000 Ashford University applicants to the Project Working Mom scholarship program, developed by eLearners.com, a Web resource of EducationDynamics. Ashford University awarded 10 full-tuition scholarships.

Chappell-Bates, who after a bitter battle lost custody of her son, became involved with the National Association of Non Custodial Moms, Inc. and now serves as the non-profit organization's vice president. "My relationship with my son has never been stronger, even though he still does not live with me," she said. "I also married the man of my dreams and added his four wonderful children to my family."

In her essay, Chappell-Bates wrote, "I do not want to leave a legacy for my son or stepchildren that 'getting by' is okay, that working more hours in a day than God intended is a success, that pretending to be educated around your truly educated friends can fool the person in the mirror." Chappell-Bates is attending Ashford University online classes in pursuit of a bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication degree.

Ashford University is one of eight accredited online institutions donating more than 280 full-tuition scholarships worth nearly $5 million to the Project Working Mom campaign in 2010.

Applications are now being accepted for the final round of Project Working Mom 2010; the deadline is Sept. 15. Applicants must complete a short application at www.projectworkingmom.com and write an essay describing how they will benefit from a college education. Winning applicants will be notified in October.  

About Ashford University

Founded in 1918, Ashford University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org). The University offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs online and at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. The University is known for its high quality yet highly affordable online and on-campus programs. For more information, please visit www.ashford.edu or call Shari Rodriguez, director of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.