Philadelphia Mother Receives Full-Tuition Scholarship to Ashford University

Cuevas Chosen from More Than 53,000 Project Working Mom Applicants

Lisa Cuevas, a mother of three who is inspired by her mother's passion for education, has been awarded an Ashford University full-tuition scholarship as a part of Project Working Mom

To earn the scholarship, Cuevas submitted an essay about her own higher education aspirations. Her entry was selected out of more than 12,000 Ashford University applicants to the Project Working Mom scholarship program, developed by, a Web resource of EducationDynamics. Ashford University awarded 10 full-tuition scholarships.

Cuevas, who was adopted, says her mother believes it is never too late for a college education, pushed herself to persevere and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Social Work at the age of 54.

"My mother worked very hard to accomplish what she did. She worked full-time during the day and would attend school at night. Most nights, she would be up doing research and writing essays until two and three o'clock in the morning, only to get up for work early the next day. There is something I find so inspiring about the way she pushed herself to accomplish her dream. She made me proud," Cuevas said.

"I became a mother at the age of 14. It was difficult, but my mother stood behind me, and I graduated from high school with my class," she said. Cuevas started community college, but her family was turned upside down when her father became ill and her son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorder.

Today, her father is doing fine. She and her husband are raising three children and focus on providing their special needs son with a normal life. "When my son was diagnosed, my mother brought up the idea of going back to school to provide him with a better life," she said.

In her essay, Cuevas, 25, wrote "When my mother found out I was returning to school, she was so excited she nearly leaped from her seat. She told me, 'Little by little, you can do it. It's hard, but it's not impossible. Remember, money goes away, you can lose everything, but no one can ever take your education.'"

Cuevas will attend Ashford University in the fall to obtain a bachelor's degree in Organizational Management. While at the community college she found that online classes worked well for her. She was able to move at her own pace and work on schoolwork on her available time.

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 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 ( 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 or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.