Local Project Working Mom Scholarship Winner Succeeds in Online Studies


In 2008, Lisa Welch was one of 10 recipients awarded a national Project Working Mom full-tuition scholarship to Ashford University. Her winning essay was selected from more than 70,000 entrants that year.           

Welch – who has a 3.95 Grade Point Average and is a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and Alpha Sigma Lambda – is on track to earn her bachelor's degree. She plans to officially receive her diploma at graduation ceremonies being held in April at Ashford University's campus in Clinton, Iowa. 

"Online higher education has offered me the flexibility to raise my children, work and earn a degree simultaneously," Welch said. "This scholarship is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. It comes in right behind my faith and my family. It has redefined my possibilities and has given me an unbelievable opportunity to change my life and my children's future."           

As a part of the Project Working Mom program, Ashford University, a regionally accredited university offering online and on-campus graduate and undergraduate degree programs, awarded 50 full-tuition scholarships, valued at more than $2 million, in the past three years. 

Developed by e-Learners, a web resource of Education Dynamics, the program awarded scholarships to deserving parents who wanted to pursue a college degree, but didn't have the time, financial resources or confidence.       

"Students, like Lisa, who are successfully achieving their higher education aspirations, have made our participation in the Project Working Mom program particularly worthwhile," Ashford University President Elizabeth Tice said. "Online higher education makes it possible for working parents to achieve their goals, and it is an honor to have provided the resource for 50 of them to attend Ashford University."

Welch said, "This degree is opening doors that were not open to me previously. As a health insurance agent, I was concerned with my future prospects. Just being a student has opened doors. People recognize the value of a person who is willing to learn and wanting to improve."

For working parents interested in pursuing a degree, she advises "that the journey will broaden your knowledge and open your world, but one must be prepared to make short-term sacrifices." She said, "If your kids are old enough, take them on the journey with you. My kids and I discuss my classes and their classes. We use it as our share time.

"As a working mom also going to college, you may not have time to be the room mother or serve on every committee but you will be building your future. Keep your eye on the prize. Believe me, the kids won't remember if their Valentine's Day cupcakes were homemade or store bought, but they will know that their mother has a good job because of the college degree that she earned," she said. "My children are proud of how I do my job, my class work, and still find time to play with them." 

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, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.