Andrea Kellner, a student in Central Piedmont Community College’s (CPCC) Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program, is moving her life forward, one step at a time.
Kellner is a divorced, single mother of two; and when not attending class on CPCC’s Central Campus, she can be found juggling multiple jobs in order to provide the best possible future for her and her children – Owen, 8, and Harper, 5.
But it’s not easy.
Owen is a special needs child who was diagnosed with autism at an early age. As a result, Kellner spends three days a week shuttling him to and from therapy appointments.
While many people would see this diagnosis as a curse, Kellner views it as a blessing.
“I have always dreamed of working with special needs kids,” she says. “Now, after having one of my own, I know I’ve found my calling. I was meant to help children reach their greatest potential.”
Thanks to the ANSWER Scholarship she received in fall 2017, Kellner is currently taking strides toward making her dream a reality. ANSWER provides scholarships to local, single or married moms who are earning a two-degree in CPCC’s Health Careers division, a two-year nursing degree, or a four-year degree in the field of their choice.
The financial assistance she’s receiving from the scholarship will help Kellner complete her associate degree later this year; in fact, she anticipates graduating from CPCC’s OTA program in December 2018.
But according to Kellner, her journey won’t end when she walks across CPCC’s commencement stage. “I want to work toward earning a master’s degree in occupational therapy,” she says. “An advanced degree will not only help me achieve more as a working professional, but it will also teach my children the importance of education and that anything can be achieved with a little hard work and determination.”
Should Kellner succeed, she will be the first person in her immediate family to graduate from college and that’s exactly what the ANSWER Scholarship strives to do – help remarkable mothers earn college degrees to become strong and self-sufficient.
“Getting this scholarship has shown me that anything is possible, including being an independent, single woman,” she adds. “An education can open up endless possibilities in life. I am living proof.”
Are you interested in applying for an ANSWER Scholarship? The program is currently accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year through March 2, 2018. Go online to view the application or to see if you qualify.