Marilyn J. Palmer Memorial

Funded by
Learn more about the Donor
1 winner
Application Deadline
Mar 31, 2021
Winners Announced
Apr 12, 2021
Education Level
Eligibility Requirements
Pursuing trade/vocational degree
Schooling Status:
Current high school senior or undergrad
Schooling Status:
Pursuing trade/vocational degree
Current high school senior or undergrad

Our mom, Marilyn Palmer, was a believer in the possible. 

As a loving wife to a basketball coach and the mother of 4 boys, she was an eternal optimist with a keen sense of gratitude for the world. As her kids grew older, she became increasingly involved in tutoring and ended her working career as a census taker. 

She truly was an American Girl, thrifty and clever, who always found a way to make things work out for the best no matter the circumstance. 

To honor her great legacy and the life she lived, our family would like to offer the Marilyn J. Palmer Scholarship to one American student who, instead of pursuing the ordinary undergraduate route, is interested in taking their studies to a trade/vocational school to harness their skills in a specific field.

To apply, please write about what being an American means to you. 

Selection Criteria:
Essay, American, Ambition, Purpose, Unique, Drive
Essay Topic

What does being an American mean to you?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Susanna Loker
Tulsa Community CollegeClaremore, OK
America is called the land of the free, the great melting pot, the land of promise. Truly, she is all of these things, but the essence of being American boils down to one thing: opportunity. Of course, everyone has opportunity world wide, but being American is all about opportunity and becoming the best version of yourself. It is the very reason for the success of so many that live here. Being American means having the privilege of opportunity despite where we start because we are encouraged to never give up. America starts each of us off with the privilege of learning. Our public school system is open to all, and we can always choose to continue our education or work toward a great career. We all have the opportunity to work toward a career that we enjoy. We have a choice even if it takes a lot of hard work. No, we do not all start off on the same level ground, and we do not all come across each opportunity the same. Still, we each make our own futures by the opportunities we find and the opportunities we create for ourselves. Like a game of chess, each move we make sets us up for the next move and the next one to lead us to our final goal. It doesn't always work out the way we plan; afterall, there are other players, outside forces, and things we cannot control, but we can always set ourselves up for a better opportunity the next round. Some of us may start out poor and have to work harder to get to financial stability or to fund a great dream, but the opportunity is not taken from us. Some of us may be judged on the color of our skin and have to find a way to make it despite those who tell us "no." Some of us may be at a disadvantage because of our gender, but we all have the opportunity to prove to those that held us back that we are stronger than all of these things. Our disadvantages only show how hard we have worked to get somewhere in life. In America, we have the opportunity to prove every disadvantage wrong. There's something about those of us that make it far in this life; we don't give up easily. Some of us are optimists with compelling, continuing hope, and some of us are stubborn brutes who simply refuse to bend under the load of imperfection. I think that's the thing about America; whatever kind of person you are there's some kind of hope in just living where we do. You don't have to be the eternal optimist to find it; you just have to look around you and see that there is a chance for each of us to make it. I would never say that there aren't some with an advantage, but this happens world wide. Being American means that you are allowed and encouraged to seek whatever you may dream of doing despite where you came from, despite whatever holds you back. America cheers on the underdog; it's her favorite pastime. This is because despite everything else that defines you, America cheers on its own. Whatever else you may be, you are American.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 31, 2021. Winners will be announced on Apr 12, 2021.

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