For DonorsFor Applicants

Marilyn J. Palmer Memorial

Funded by
1 winner$500
Application Deadline
Mar 12, 2023
Winners Announced
Apr 12, 2023
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Pursuing trade/vocational degree
Schooling Status:
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
Published January 7, 2023
Essay Topic

What does being an American mean to you?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Jason Pluebell
Bellwood-Antis High SchoolTyrone, PA
What does being an American mean to me? Jason Pluebell It’s given me a future. It’s given me an identity, and comfort in knowing my path is set. This opportunity to pursue this course of my life has opened my eyes to what being an American means for me. Before I decided my future I was always set on the military. It was the path people go on when they have nowhere else to go, and I always dreamt of serving my country for giving me the gift to live in this great country. Later I realized that isn’t the path I want to take. I want to live a life of honest work, honest money, and a quiet happy lifestyle. When this eye opening realization came to me I got confused. What line of duty provides this? Most important is what will make me happy alongside it. Until I worked alongside my Cousin Aric Reader, a well seasoned electrician who has a business, makes good money, lives his life how he wants and maintains happiness. It was then that I decided that an electrician is what I want to be. This trade, as I can see it from an outside perspective, has a culture around it. I’m still not entirely sure how I fit into it all, but I know the way will open. I now have something to identify myself to. My knowledge on the trade itself is very limited, but I see approaching things empty minded makes consuming knowledge easier and smoother. I am a hard worker, adapting to whatever orders are given. So whatever this field throws at me I know I can push through because I've always done it in my past. Life is the pursuit of happiness, and happiness is an objective term based on who is answering. To me happiness is pleasing those around me before myself, and I know that this job will perfectly combine with how my mind functions and my ideals. I know I will thrive in this trade and strive to consume any knowledge I am provided with so that society can keep evolving as me, and many others, contribute to the one being that is humanity. America is known as the Land of the Free and being an American means that you can make your own decisions about where you want to live and where you would like to work.
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.
Kaitlyn Kearney
Wake Technical Community CollegeStedman, NC
To me, being American means being free to do and be anything you could ever dream of. As an American, I can make my own decisions on where I want to live, what I want to do, who I want to marry, etc. I am currently a home health nurse but I have the decision to change my career. I have chosen to become a crime scene investigator. I am happy that I have a choice. Being American also means being brave to make your own choices, being confident to succeed, and being proud to be an American. I am all of those things. My mother told me over and over that I just needed to stay a nurse but I have proven her wrong and made all A’s during my semesters at Wake Technical Community College. I have the same vision that your mother had, I have a belief for the impossible. I always believe that things will work out for the best. We have so much going for us in America, even with all the mess going on, we can still come out better. Whatever dreams that are in our heads, we can conquer, as long as we do not give up. I have wanted to be a crime scene Investigator since I was 17 years old, watching CSI: Miami. I decided to be a nurse because they make more money. Now, I have decided to go back to school because being a nurse is not all that it turns out to be. There is a lot of stress with being a nurse. I am happy to say that I have the best opportunity to go back to school to make my dreams come true. I know that this is going to take a lot of hard work, having to pay for school this go round, but I know that it is worth it. As an American, I am inspired to do the best that I can to live the life that I want, love who I want to love, marry who I want to marry. America is the land of the free, full of opportunities, choices, anything that anyone can dream of. As long as people do not give up on their selves, they can achieve anything that they want to do. I love being an American girl. I would never choose another place to be, be raised, or have my children raised.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 12, 2023. Winners will be announced on Apr 12, 2023.

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