Local Project Working Moms and Dads Scholarship Winner Succeeds in Online Studies


In 2009, Richard Shields was one of 10 recipients awarded a national Project Working Moms and Dads full-tuition scholarship to Ashford University. His winning essay was selected from more than 130,000 entrants that year.           

In August, 2011, Shields is on track to graduate with a bachelor's degree. He then plans to enroll in an Ashford University master's degree program. Ultimately, his goal is to teach social sciences, grades 5 - 12. 

"I believe the opportunities afforded to me by this scholarship will prove to be life-changing. It allows me to pursue opportunities I would have never been able to pursue," he said.           

"Many working parents believe that although earning a degree is something they would like to do, it is simply an unattainable dream," he said. "My advice is to never give up and seize every opportunity to reach one's goal. You will never regret it."           

As a part of the Project Working Moms and Dads 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 Richard, who are successfully achieving their higher education aspirations, have made our participation in the Project Working Moms and Dads 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." 

Shields, who has five children, says his kids love that their Dad attends college. "I've found that furthering my education has given me fresh insight into their learning experiences,” he said.                       

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.