First Recipient 2009


Mary Mackey
Graduate of Glendale Community College
Summer 2009

Per my surgeon’s recommendation after my car accident, subsequent surgeries, and recovery, I moved to Arizona in fall of 2003.  I became a real estate agent and an assistant to the President of Pro Star Realty shortly after.  For the entire duration of this career, I have not had financial independence, health, dental insurance, or retirement benefits.

My adjusted gross income for 2008 was $4,823 and $8,823 in 2007.  At this time, I am not able to afford an apartment of my own (I now live with my daughter), health, or dental insurance.  I struggle every day, to cover my bills.  Since 2002, I have had extensive dental bills as the muscles in my cheeks were torn; my bite was off causing broken teeth, requiring braces, and crowns.

In December of 2007, I became proactive about my future.  I applied for many jobs within the city governments of the Valley in hopes of securing a steady income, and even though I had thirty years experience, I was unable to gain employment without a degree.  The only way for me become independent is through education and a new career.

I began attending Glendale Community College in January of 2008 as a non-traditional, returning full-time student.  This semester, at fifty-three years old, I am taking fourteen credits and am maintaining my membership with Phi Theta Kappa, and Honors with a 3.77 GPA.  I have received recognitions of Outstanding Contributions to Class Activity or Organization, Outstanding Student of Literature, 1st Place for a non-fiction essay for the Traveler (the Glendale Community College Creative Writers Contest), 3rd Place for one of my poems, and a finalist in the Arizona Communication Association Public Speaking Contest.

In August of this year, I will complete my Associate in Arts Degree.  I am transferring to Ottawa University as a full time student in fall of 2009 to pursue my Bachelor’s in Social Work, and later my Masters Degree.  I am also seeking my Creative Writer’s Certificate.  Not only will be able to fulfill my passion to help others addressing their natural needs, more importantly, help them in their spiritual walk.  I want to share the love of Jesus Christ, which passes knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God, (Eph 3:19), with each person I encounter.  I will enroll in Fuller Theological Seminary for Christian counseling.

I am in pursuit of part-time employment with Valley of the Sun School and Rehabilitation Center, and currently a volunteer at their fundraiser Golf Tournaments and at special events.

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