At the age of 40, I found myself out of work and doing a lot of soul searching about my career future. The recession had made it difficult to find new work in the marketing field, which I had been working in for many years. I found myself drawn again and again to the field of architecture. I tried to ignore this calling, because architecture is a very time-intensive field, and it is said that architects don’t really hit their career stride for20 years, but the attraction persisted and I eventually gave in and went back to school to pursue first a Bachelors of Science in Architecture and then a Masters of Architecture Professional Degree. When I began this process, I had 4 children still at home in high school and junior high. My family was exceptionally patient with my long hours and the lack of funds in the household for any extras. I worked when I could to continue to cover the basics, in addition to using years of savings and taking on many student loans to accomplish my goal.
I have maintained the top grades in my class throughout both my Bachelors and Masters programs, have been admitted to Tau Sigma Delta Architectural Honors Society, as well as being included in Who’s Who of Architecture students in both 2015 and 2016. Maintaining this high level of academic excellence comes with excessively long hours and a total commitment to my education above all else. This has resulted in fewer available work hours than I’d hoped for.
Just before the last semester of my Masters year, I discovered The Pokagon Fund’s amazing adult scholarship program. With mounting student loans, used up savings and very few hours available for work, learning that I had been awarded a scholarship to cover my last semester of school was an enormous weight off my shoulders. This scholarship will enable me to graduate with a reduced loan burden, pay off my loans sooner, and focus more on work that can benefit others rather than just work that comes with a large paycheck.