Jennifer Thrower

Year: Senior (graduating in December)

Major: Child and Youth Studies

Scholarship: John & Fran Smith Scholarship and the Alice and Dean Fjelstul College of Education Scholarship

The John & Fran Smith Scholarship along with the Alice and Dean Fjelstul College of Education Scholarship allowed non-traditional student Jennifer Thrower to return to school after a 12-year hiatus so that she could realize her dream of becoming a teacher or work with children in some other capacity.

With a 10-year-old autistic son and a full academic load, the child and youth studies major has been able to focus on her son and her coursework because of the scholarship. The result: She’s achieved an impressive 3.9 GPA.

Without the assistance, “I wouldn’t be able to achieve the grades necessary to fulfill my professional ambition of becoming an educator in Lee County,” she says.

The scholarship paid for her classes and books for the fall semester, allowing her to focus on her academic pursuits. She was able to take part in a research project in the preschool grade levels at the Little Eagles Learning Center on campus and she volunteered extra hours outside of her internships at schools in Lee County.

She hopes to go on to earn a master’s degree.

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