Local Project Working Mom Scholarship Winner Succeeds in Online Studies


In 2009, Gail Kenny 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 130,000 entrants that year.           

Now, Kenny is on track to graduate in June, 2011, with a bachelor's degree in Journalism/Mass Communications. "This scholarship has helped me to do something I never expected to be able to do -- finish my bachelor's degree," she said.    

"Financially, paying for school or taking on more debt would have been impossible. My husband's disability has prevented him from working substantially. Finishing what I started was the inspiration to enter the scholarship competition. I am greatly indebted to Ashford University for giving me this opportunity."          

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 Gail, 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." 

Kenny said, "I have learned that online education makes it possible to continue to work, continue to spend time with your family and do your schoolwork on a flexible schedule. You just need to take the small step to look into it."       

She adds that her 20-year-old son is a college student, too. "Seeing his mom working on her own degree, despite challenges, has made him more willing to try, despite his frustrations."          

Kenny, who doesn't expect to change employers immediately upon graduation, is using the writing and research skills she has learned at Ashford University in her current position. "At some point, I would like to return to journalism and/or freelance writing," she said. With a bachelor's degree, she is earning the education she'll need to make that happen.                       

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.