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Brighter Future Beckons for Single-Parent Student

November 2011

Take one look at Sarah’s little family and you’ll think it is the picture of happiness. But ponder what’s missing and you may also realize that Sarah is . . . a single mother. But did you know that 26 percent of children now live with just one parent, and 27 percent of single mothers live in poverty?


The older I get, the more I’ve realized that everyone has a fascinating story to tell.

Fascination was far from Sarah’s mind in August 2009, however. As she lay in the ICU recovering from complications after giving birth, she decided to leave her failed marriage for her sake and that of her family. Four days later, she gathered her children and moved out.

Finances were an immediate concern. Her parents encouraged her to return to Australia, but Sarah knew it could affect custody and her U.S. residency. So she remained in the United States, was awarded full custody after the divorce, and became a U.S. citizen.

During 2009, Sarah interned at different jobs. She soon realized that she would need more education to earn the salary required to raise her family. A friend suggested she look into LDS Business College. “Within moments of walking through the door, I could sense the nurturing, supportive environment I so desperately needed,” said Sarah.

Sarah decided on the degrees she needed, but she had no way to pay for them. But then she heard about and applied for a special single-parent scholarship. “I literally cried tears of joy when I received the Stella Harris Oaks ‘Horizons of Hope’ Scholarship for Single Parents,” she said. “It was the answer to many prayers. I committed to do my absolute best to ensure the precious funds were not wasted on me.”

When Sarah began classes, she struggled with self-doubt. “As an almost 40-year-old single mother of four young kids, I wondered if I was ‘smart enough’ to handle formal education after an absence of 20-plus years,” admitted Sarah. “I was intimidated at the thought of intense studying and exams.”

Sarah forged ahead, and within a few days, her feelings changed. “I realized I can do hard things,” she said. “Learning has become a joy. I am now in my fourth semester and I’ve averaged a 3.98 GPA.”

The feelings of inadequacy have vanished. “Accomplishing what I thought unattainable has given me the courage to face all of life’s uncertainties,” said Sarah. “My children are being raised by a happier, more focused, more life-loving mother.”

LDS Business College is known for its well-trained, work-ready graduates. “The paralegal field is expected to be among the Top 5 growth jobs in the next few years,” said Sarah. “Thanks to the expert legal research, writing and analysis I’ve been learning at LDSBC, I will have an advantage. My teachers are all current from actively working in the field.”

Sarah’s rocky, painful path is now a smooth, promising road thanks to kind scholarship donors. “I look forward to the day I can look into the donors’ eyes and thank them,” she said. “Through their generosity, my life has been transformed. I am so richly blessed.”

Sarah will graduate in December 2012 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paralegal Studies and an Associate of Science degree.

Thank you, Sarah, for rising above your challenges and sharing your motivating story.

During the month of November, a group of what I affectionately call “Mormon Mommy Bloggers” is raising scholarship funds for single moms like Sarah.