For DonorsFor Applicants

Carol B. Warren, You are Loved Scholarship

10 winners, $500 each
Application Deadline
Jun 15, 2024
Winners Announced
Jul 15, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Non-traditional student pursuing an undergraduate degree or planning to after finishing a GED
Colorado, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina

Carol B. Warren was a beloved, inspirational wife and mother who overcame countless obstacles to help the people she loved.

Carol's father died when she was in the 9th grade, and her formal education ended there as she took over the role of raising her 4 siblings. Carol married and raised four daughters, who became successful professionals. Carol inspired her children to continue lifelong learning when she obtained her GED in her 50s. 

This scholarship aims to honor the legacy of Carol B. Warren by supporting non-traditional students who are pursuing their educational goals.

Any female, non-traditional student in ColoradoFloridaGeorgiaSouth Carolina, or North Carolina may apply for this scholarship, but students who have completed or are in the process of completing their GED will be given preference. If this is you, be sure to mention it in your essay.

To apply, tell us why you're a non-traditional student and how this scholarship would help you pursue your goals.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Drive, Impact
Published March 15, 2024
Essay Topic

Please tell us why you are a non-traditional student. How will this scholarship help you pursue your education goals?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Brandy Stephens
Southwest Wisconsin Technical CollegeNORTH AUGUSTA, SC
The telephone rings, “Brandy, it’s Dr. Squires...your biopsy results came back. Can you and your husband come into the office to discuss the findings?” The office visit was a blur, my eyes glazed over and my brain froze. I picked up on key words: B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, severely immunocompromised, prognosis poor, treatment undecided. I was almost 28 and had just made the decision to return to school to finish my degree now that our daughter was almost two years old. The brakes squealed on that decision as my life flashed before my eyes.  For full transparency - I tried to get a degree from a university which honestly failed before it started. I then went to a technical college and my confidence was just in the dumpster. For everything I did well, I feel like I was my own worst enemy because I had this habit of self-sabotage to make my strides counterproductive. Imposter syndrome is a weird feeling. Coming from a home where neither parent attended college, I felt lost coming out of High School without guidance and I was just rolling with the punches.  Cancer was the wakeup call that I needed to do better – it ignited my drive. It really can be the cliche that people often mention as “being an eye-opening experience.” That rough experience can polish the pearl that has been waiting to emerge. I was fortunate enough to have a sibling who was a DNA/HLA match for me to receive my life saving stem cell transplant after over 100 days in the hospital (I spent 165 in total.) After all that I have been through I think I will have a new appreciation for being a student and a new confidence in my abilities to get the work done. I have learned how to speak again after a tracheotomy, I learned how to walk again after being in a wheelchair for two years after having dealt with graft vs host disease & bilateral Achilles lengthening surgeries, I have learned how to use my body in the face of newfound disabilities, and just simply have learned how to live. My ambition came alive in facing death.  I see my future goals as being easily attainable. I would love to set an example for my almost 12-year-old daughter as a non-traditional college graduate. I want to show her that it's never too late to accomplish your goals. I am celebrating my 38th birthday in June and my 10th year post-stem cell transplant in July, and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the life I have been granted and the future ahead of me than to earn an associate degree in Cancer Information Management and to be certified as an Oncology Data Specialist with the National Cancer Registrars Association. I am grateful to be alive and would be honored to even be considered for this opportunity.
Kristina Garcia Martin
College of Central FloridaINVERNESS, FL
Traditional students graduate high school, go to college, complete their educational goals within a 2-8 year timeframe and move into their desired career field. This is the exact opposite of what defines my education history because I graduated high school with honors and scholarships but went down a different path due to being the victim of a violent crime while I was enrolled as a freshman at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL. The result of the violent crime resulted in the birth of my oldest child who I love dearly and will do anything to improve the quality of our life and the community in which we live. Another obstacle placed in our lives that barred me physically and financially for a long time from achieving the ability to receive a higher education degree was the diagnosis and subsequent symptoms of multiple sclerosis while being a single mother. While most traditional students would have family to lean into during difficult times such as a medical diagnosis or when being the victim of a crime, I did not. Little did I know at the time that the person who inflicted harm upon me could also file to obtain child custody. From 2008 until now I have had to co-parent my child amicably with the person who battered me when I was first entering college. I have learned through therapy, prayer, and time to let it go but it does not change the fact that my educational goals have been severely impacted. This scholarship will help me enroll and complete my associate's degree so that I may apply for higher-paying jobs that I currently do not qualify for based solely on educational requirements. Although I possess a great deal of institutional and hands-on experience, it is not enough to advance me to the next level in my career field. With the high cost of courses, inflation in everyday items, and the rising cost of my healthcare I will not be able to complete my educational goal without scholarship awards. I believe that higher education will also help me cater to the youth in my 4-H club that I mentor who are looking into different career paths and have questions right now about college that I cannot answer because I lack the experience necessary. I thank you for reading my essay about my non-traditional educational path and how obtaining an associate's degree or higher would advance me in my career field to better my family and my community. Your help would be a blessing.
Jelany Hernandez
Navarre High SchoolTOCCOA, GA
My name is Jelany Hernandez, and I am a GED graduate. I passed my exams and acquired my GED in 2022, and have begun looking towards further education. I’ve always been somewhat of an artist, which brought me to pursue graphic design! I come from an immigrant family. Both my mother and father immigrated to America in their late 20’s. They were married for a few years before having me. I am an only child on my mothers side, but I have a wonderful brother that is a bit older than me from my fathers side. I was raised with just my mom and dad until I was around 12. My father passed away around that age, leaving me and my mom alone. My grandfather had passed a few years prior, so my grandmother (on my moms side) moved in with us once my father passed. When I was 13, I started working my first job in a small horse stable, just on the weekends, to help my mom out as much as I could. I worked a variety of simple, under the table jobs as a young teen, trying my best to help my mom get through the struggle of finances. When I hit 18, I immediately began to work full time to make sure I could do everything in my power to make my mom’s life easier. Around this time, my grandma fell ill and needed surgery. I was trying to get through my senior year of highschool, and work full time, as well as taking care of my grandma while my mom was at work. It all got a bit overwhelming, and I wasn’t able to delegate enough time for it all. I decided that dropping out and pursuing my GED was the best choice at the time. Luckily, my grandma recovered after intense therapy, and my mom was able to study and put some insurance licenses under her belt. It improved our quality of life drastically, and I was still able to graduate, even though it was the traditional method. Before leaving highschool, I was a well adjusted student. I was in gifted and advanced classes from elementary school, until a bit after my father passed away. Once he passed, I struggled a bit more with AP and Honor classes, but I still held my grades in high esteem, averaging an A in most, if not all of my classes. I’ve won my fair share of awards for essays, art, and writing competitions, as well as a few Honor Rolls. My GPA dropped during my later highschool years, due to the fact that I was not focused enough on my schooling, but I was able to keep it above a 3.0 until I dropped out. A scholarship like this would be an immense help for my family. My mother is more comfortable with her finances now, but without two parents, it is incredibly difficult to afford many of the tuitions for the schools I’ve applied to. She only makes 40,000 dollars a year, and I work part time, mostly just to pay for my housing and living costs. With enough scholarships, I hope to be the first in my family to graduate from college, so that I can help make a better life for myself, and for my family. Thank you so much for your consideration, and for taking the time out of your day to read this. Thank you so much for this opportunity, and I sincerely hope to hear back from your program soon.
Alexandria dorion
Valencia CollegeAPOPKA, FL
My education journey has been anything but traditional, and while it wasn't easy it was exactly what i needed to be the person I am today. It allowed me to find my path and my support group and I will always be grateful for that. When I was 16 I moved back in with my father from my mothers house. My mom was suffering from Bi polar disorder and wasn't protecting or parenting me and my siblings in the way we needed and I knew I needed to get away. Once I was in a safer space the trauma truly hit and I began to breakdown. I started to avoid leaving home and eventually dropped out of school and was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. I wouldn't leave my home for over a year and slipped into a depression. I realized I had to take the steps to better my life and went to therapy and got into the working world but as a high school drop out it was a struggle, but I made it work. After the birth of my son and my successful battle with postpartum depression I realized I wanted to set the best post example for him. I wanted him to see me as strong, educated and successful women. This gave me the strength to go get my GED and enroll in college at 29. Working, full time school and full time motherhood isn't easy but I know I can do it and continue to amaze myself with how far I have come. In my first semester I made the presidents list and am hoping to continue this in my second semester. I can't wait for my son to see me take my very first walk across the stage as I accept my diploma, I also am looking forward to getting into the human resources field to help others and lend an understanding ear that I always needed. After receiving my associates I plan to continue to my bachelors and laters masters so I can give my sone the like her deserves. Again this journey seems wrong to so many but it was perfect for me. With my son I have been the best student I have ever been and hope he sees through me anything and everything is possible with the hard work and this scholarship will allow me to continue this journey as a full time student and mom and not have to sacrifice the time I spend on my education and truly apply myself and be the best student I can be.
Fawn Perez
Santa Fe CollegeLAKE CITY, FL
Hello. My name is Fawn Evans. I am a single mother of two children. After high school, I got married to the love of my life and we had two kids by 21. Years later, my husband was murdered in Orlando leaving the kids and I heartbroken and me responsible for all the bills. After losing the father of my kids, I decided to go to school to complete a degree to better take care of my family at the same time as working a full-time job. I realized raising the kids on my own, that I wasn’t making enough money to feed my children. Since I did the marriage and family path right after high school, I am starting my BAS in my late 30's. With this BAS, I can set up a good job and life for my family and me. Having a strong foundation is very important to me and will help me show my kids no matter what life throws at you, it’s up to you to change the outcome in a positive way. I started my college classes in the 2010’s and got my degree in AAS Biomedical Engineering in 2013. Then, I worked in the field of my study and became a Service Technician working on Sub-coils to MRI Machines. I then realized I wanted more and to run a department more efficiently and smoothly. I went back for my BAS in Organizational Management and found out my AAS isn’t accepted anymore to start my BAS, so I had to get an AA degree in Business Administration. Once I graduated with my AA in Business Administration, I was able to start my BAS (which is what I am working on now). I also was blessed to work as a Quality Assurance Technician, and I fell in love with Quality. The company I work for now want me to take over the Quality department when the manager retires. I started my BAS, and I am about halfway there, and I need scholarships to help finish my degree. In conclusion, my goal is to earn my BAS in Organizational Management to pursue a job in Quality Management. I have dreamed of a job like this for as long as I can remember. This degree allows me to become the Quality Manager and run the department that helps put out a higher quality product. Since I am the type of person to try and do good for others, I can’t imagine a more rewarding job to make sure the products I oversee will be built and manufactured to the highest quality level there is. I will take this job as a huge responsibility and do my best every day to prove I am the right person for the job. This scholarship will help me achieve this goal and since I have run out of Pell Grants to finish this degree, I am in dying need of this scholarship. Please help me build a solid foundation for my family and my career.
Lorendie Exavier
Atlantic Community High SchoolDelray Beach, FL
Being an immigrant is one of the transformative paths to turn an ordinary student into a non-traditional student since it changes life in so many unexpected ways. My story stands as evidence of this. I lived in my home country until the age of 14 and was a sophomore in High School. Since I excelled at a faster pace than my peers, the principal and my teachers suggested to my parents that I skip two grades in primary school, which is rare in my country due to its strict educational system. This change always made me younger than my classmates since I entered High School at 12 years old. Due to increasing insecurity and poverty in my home country, my family and I left before COVID-19, a few months before I finished my sophomore year. We moved to French Guiana, hoping for opportunities and a fresh start in our lives. Education has always been an important topic for my family and me, but what we didn't know is that education there involves complex points and specific criteria since a lot of immigrant students are applying for school but the availability of places is minimal. The first step to go to school there was to enroll in an educational center – what I did – and wait to find a place in a public high school or middle school. The idea of finding a place in a private school crossed our minds, it requires financial resources and almost the same process with faster pace, but our economic situation was not at its best. The realization that I would miss crucial years of my academic journey began to sink in. I felt uncertain about how this situation would affect my education and personal growth. I struggled with insomnia and sadness, constantly worrying about catching up on missed lessons. Without a structured school routine, I turned to self-directed learning, diving into books – as I love reading – and online resources to stay prepared. It was a tough time both academically and emotionally. I lived through one of the most difficult periods of my life as I had to wait almost 2 years before finally finding a spot in a high school, which caused me to lose 2 academic years. After that, I continued to go to school there until I reached my senior year, and then my parents found the opportunity to come here, to "The Land of Dreams," which is irrefutable. Upon arrival here, I was placed back in 11th Grade because they doubted my ability to graduate if I was in 12th, which I proved wrong since I already have all my graduation requirements in my first year here. I thought about Early Graduation, but going to college requires a solid financial situation, which is not the case for my family, so I decided to graduate next year while waiting to apply for scholarships and financial aid, even though I will be older than my classmates, which makes me a non-traditional student. This scholarship is really important to me because it will allow me to avoid the same situations I experienced years ago. I really need and want to go to college to achieve my dreams, and I don't want to lose any more years, especially because of financial resources. I'm working as hard as I can in order not to miss any opportunities that would help me go to College to become a Pediatrician, be a model of resilience just as Carol B. Warren and a standard for my younger sisters and people around me.
Ruby Outten
Nassau Virtual FranchiseFernandina Beach, FL
When the Covid-19 outbreak happened, I was in 8th grade. Everyone was quarantined, and brick-and-mortar students were pushed into online schools. The pandemic happened at such a vital time in my life, as I was less than a year away from high school and already in conflict with my identity, and suddenly I was isolated from my peers. I decided I liked the online platform because it gave me the freedom to make my schedule and work at my own pace, but as time went on, I found myself becoming more and more alone. Eventually, I reached the point where the only people I communicated with were my immediate family and I became very socially awkward. At the age of fifteen, I decided it was time to venture outside of my comfort zone and find a job. Applying to work at Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve now been there for two years, regained my social confidence, and made lifelong friendships with my coworkers, employers, and customers that I’ll carry with me throughout my college career. So, I missed my entire high school career and never got the “high school experience” that many seem so fond of, but I decided that online school was the best option for me as it allowed me independence and freedom, and I’ve found happiness in other places. Recently, I was accepted to Florida State University through the CARE program. I am from a low-income household, I am a first-generation student and I am no longer used to brick-and-mortar schooling, so I know college will initially provide a challenge and I’ll likely have trouble adapting at first. Although I have a little bit of money saved up, it's not nearly enough to support myself, and being awarded The You Are Loved Scholarship would assist me greatly with the financial transition to FSU and would help me be more successful in attending school and furthering my education. I am excited to embark on this new chapter of my life and learn as much as possible in my time at Florida State University. As a non-traditional student, being awarded this scholarship would provide hope to my younger sister, and anyone, who wants to pursue online school but fears a lack of opportunities. This scholarship goes toward a wonderful cause, and even if I don’t receive it, I’m thankful that this foundation is supporting non-traditional schooling options.
Jennifer Hinojosa
Florida International UniversityHialeah, FL
My name is Jennifer Hinojosa, and I am a dedicated and determined individual seeking to achieve my educational goals. I am applying for this scholarship to help me overcome financial barriers and continue my journey of lifelong learning. My path to higher education has been far from typical. Graduating from high school was a significant milestone for me, as I became the first in my family to do so. However, I faced numerous personal challenges that prevented me from finishing my college degree. Growing up as a child of immigrant parents who faced the threat of deportation, I had to prioritize supporting my family financially. Despite my efforts to return to school, the need to supply income and the lack of focus due to various personal challenges kept me from completing my degree. Several years ago, I found myself in an abusive relationship, which led to a pivotal moment in my life. Upon becoming pregnant, I knew I had to leave that environment to ensure my son would grow up in a peaceful, loving, and safe home. This is when I decided that a higher education would be the best outcome for us to move forward in life. Starting from scratch, I took on various part-time jobs to support us while setting my sights on obtaining a degree in engineering. This field not only promises job stability in the aerospace sector but also provides me with the means to support my son, who is autistic and requires ongoing activities. Carol B. Warren’s story resonates deeply with me. Like Carol, I faced significant obstacles early in life that diverted my educational path. Her decision to obtain her GED in her 50s and her unwavering support for her family serve as a powerful reminder that it is never too late to pursue one's dreams. I am inspired by her legacy and strive to embody her spirit of perseverance and dedication in my own life. My commitment to lifelong learning and overcoming adversity mirrors Carol’s journey, and I am motivated to achieve my goals despite the challenges I have faced. Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to intern with Lockheed Martin as a Systems Integration and Testing Engineer Intern for the Orion capsule in Artemis I and II. This experience confirmed my love for aerospace but also fueled my passion, which has been growing since childhood when I would immerse myself in anything aviation and space-related. Despite not yet having obtained my degree, my six-year-old son's autism has led to various niches, which is Outer Space. This shared interest has deepened my commitment to pursuing a career in aerospace. This career path not only aligns with my interests and strengths but also promises a stable and fulfilling future for my son and me. Achieving this degree will enable me to provide a better quality of life for my son, ensuring he has access to the resources and support he needs to thrive. Receiving this scholarship would reduce the financial stress that currently hampers my academic progress. It would allow me to reduce the hours at work, allowing me to devote more time to school. By receiving this scholarship, I hope to honor her legacy through my dedication to education and my commitment to resilience. Carol’s perseverance and devotion to her family resonate with my own experiences and aspirations. This scholarship would allow me to move closer to my dream of becoming an engineer. It would also ensure that I can provide an enriching environment for my son, where his interests can flourish and his needs are met.
Alley Newman
Valencia CollegeWINTER SPGS, FL
There was never a lightbulb moment that I realized that I wanted to have a career in medicine. If you asked my mom, however, she would say for her it was when we would be watching one of our hospital shows and she would be covering her eyes at the sight of blood, and I would be watching intently while simultaneously googling the procedure. I have always been fascinated with how and why things work, that curiosity was especially sparked when I started learning about the processes within the body. These realizations are what brought me to wanting to go into health care. Growing up with a single mom who had many health issues, when it came to her doctor appointments, I was always in tow. I remember doing a lot of research about her ailments to help alleviate some of her symptoms. Her response was always “let the doctors do their job, honey.” I found myself increasingly frustrated when she or other people around me would be suffering and I could not help them as much as I wanted to. I did not grow up with the idea that college was attainable. I grew up in a small area in Ohio, where the term “one street light town” was likely born. Neither of my parents graduated high school, and while I learned a lot from them about how to get by, information about continuing education was something I had to gain through independent research as I got older. I graduated high school with a 3.5 GPA because I genuinely enjoyed learning. However, due to difficult home life, as soon as I was eighteen, I was on my own. I tried to balance college and supporting myself, but with little knowledge about finances and the correct way of doing things, I ended up having to put my education on hold. At 25, I know I have a lot more to learn, but I am now a nontraditional student in my second semester back in school. I am incredibly thankful for the advisors I have and the life experiences I have gained to better equip myself for college. This scholarship will allow me to work towards a degree in Respiratory Care. I will be the first person to complete college in my family so far, and one of few to complete even high school. Most of all this scholarship will aid me to finally help people the way I have always wanted to and being able to tell that young girl from Ohio, and other girls like her, that college is not some impossible feat. Being able to apply for this scholarship means the world to me, and I thank you for this opportunity.
Brittany Porch
Chamberlain University-GeorgiaSOCIAL CIRCLE, GA
Very much like Carol B. Warren herself, I experienced the tragic loss of my father that led to life changing events and an enormous amount of obstacles to overcome. My father passed away unexpectedly in 2011, and I was left as a single mother of my three year old son, only making minimum wage while attending a community college part-time. When I graduated high school in 2007, I immediately started college. I knew then that I wanted to be a nurse, but a little thing we call "life" got in the way and I became a mother a lot sooner than planned. I knew that I would eventually pick back up where I left off, and I did just that in the beginning of 2011, when my son turned three. My dad agreed to help me through school as long as I made good grades. Unfortunately, my father passed away December 23, 2011 and again, I had to drop out of school, pick up all the broken pieces, and somehow manage to keep a smile on my face for my son who lost the man he called "pawpaw." I completely threw out the option of even becoming a nurse and convinced myself that God had other plans for my life. However, seven years later, I decided it was time. It was time to achieve my goals and make my dreams come true. As of today, I am still in school, nursing school that is! My anticipated graduation date is May 2025. It almost seems surreal. Looking back, there were so many times when I was not sure how I was going to make it, or where my next meal would come from. I found the joy and satisfaction in the small things in life. I learned how to cope with death, how to become the best mother to my son, and how to overcome the hardest thing in life that I have ever experienced. I have applied to so many different scholarships and grants because my financial aid has exhausted. When I saw this scholarship, I thought that I finally found one that I could relate to. I would be forever grateful to receive additional funds to help continue my education and achieve my goals of becoming a nurse. I also made my dad a promise to finish my studies and become a registered nurse. I plan to keep my promise and even though my daddy is not physically here on earth with me, his spirit lives with in me.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 15, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jul 15, 2024.

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