For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Keely Ray

7485

Bold Points

159x

Nominee

5x

Finalist

3x

Winner

Bio

My name is Keely Ray. I am a single mother of two beautiful children, Marshall and Amberlee, and I am part of the LGBTQIA+ community. I am planning to attend college, in hopes of creating a stable future for my kids and I, and to follow the dreams that I initially gave up on when becoming a teen mom. Throughout motherhood, I've faced a lot of struggles. From drug addiction to postpartum rage, and eventually leading to homelessness, all causing my first child to be taken out of my care. I worked very hard and jumped through all the hoops to regain custody. I am now 4 years sober and providing them with a life I never could have imagined myself as a child. I experienced tremendous amounts of trauma throughout my childhood. I was physically, mentally, verbally, and emotionally abused, which eventually caught up to me in adulthood. I have also dealt with trauma in adulthood, such as the loss of my son's father, who passed away in a terrible car accident in September of 2020, domestic violence, and losing my best friend to gun violence last year. As someone who has experienced everything from child abuse, to domestic violence, I advocate for child abuse victims and make it my mission to show my kids how a loving parent should be. It has always been my biggest dream to be a realtor and photographer, and I am so happy to finally be chasing my dreams while also changing the cycle of abuse within my family.

Education

Peninsula College

Associate's degree program
2022 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Graphic Communications
    • Film/Video and Photographic Arts

GED® Testing Service LLC

High School
2017 - 2019

Rowe H S

High School
2012 - 2015

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Associate's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Real Estate

    • Dream career goals:

      My long term goal is to be a successful realtor, and own my own photography studio.

    • Homeless Youth Coordinator

      Serenity House of Clallam County
      2019 – 2019
    • Customer Service Rep.

      Dominos
      2015 – 20172 years

    Sports

    Marching Band

    2012 – 20153 years

    Research

    • Real Estate

      Personal — Dream Job
      2020 – Present

    Arts

    • Theatre Arts

      Theatre
      2012 – 2013
    • Band

      Music
      2012 – 2015

    Public services

    • Advocacy

      TikTok — Child Abuse Victim Advocate
      2021 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Serenity House Yes! Program — Resource Support
      2019 – 2019

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship
    I've never thought much about my qualities/characteristics, only because I have honestly never been asked. I can definitely say I value myself in many ways, though. I am a strong, hard-working, intelligent, motivated, determined young mother, who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, and am a huge advocate for child abuse victims, domestic violence victims, women's rights, and much much more. As a child, I was severely abused by my parents, which is why I have made it my life goal to protect and love my children the way I had always wished for as a child. My mother was, and still is, a major alcoholic. I remember my mother verbally abusing me growing up, calling me names and degrading me constantly. The one thing she would say that stuck the most was "You're stupid". I will never know why this insult lived rent-free in my mind, but it did. To prove my mother wrong, I decided to finally stand up for myself at the age of 15 and started focusing more on reading, writing, researching, assertiveness, motivational speeches, and advocacy. I believe by trying to prove my mother wrong, I actually created a world of opportunity for myself, and was able to change the cycle of abuse within my family. I feel that my characteristics and qualities will impact my life positively, and provide me with the ability to create a better life for my children and myself. My life goal is to bring positivity back into people's lives and to make sure my children are always happy and healthy. My character traits will definitely make my goals attainable, and I am so grateful to be able to teach my children how to be as motivated, driven, and determined as I am. If I had to choose a quality about myself that I admire the most, it would have to be my determination over anything else. Some people lack this amazing quality, but what many don't know, is that you can push yourself to be determined by creating attainable goals for yourself, and sticking to them. Self-love plays a major role in being determined. It took me a long time to learn how to self-love, but once I did, it changed my life for the better. I love myself and accept my positive qualities. I hope to create even more positive characteristics within myself, in hopes that those same qualities will be passed down to my amazing children one day.
    Lost Dreams Awaken Scholarship
    Winner
    My name is Keely Ray, and I am an addict. I have been sober for 4 years now, determined to better my life for the sake of my kids. To me, recovery doesn't only mean being clean and serine from alcohol and drugs. It means so much more than that. It means change for the better. Change plays a significant role in recovery, due to the fact that choosing to eliminate drugs and alcohol from your life will change everything, in ways that can be terrifying to someone in active addiction. But what else changes when choosing recovery? As someone who has been through recovery myself, I have changed in more ways than just staying sober. My mindset, mental health, spirituality, and determination, were all impacted positively by choosing to rid my life of drugs and alcohol. Narcotics anonymous changed my life for the better. Through this program, I was able to get the support that I so desperately craved my entire life, ultimately leading to addiction. Through recovery, my health and wellness have increased significantly, as well as my mental health. These changes have provided me with the ability to reach my full potential as a self-sufficient single mom of 2 in recovery, aiming to create a beautiful drug-free life for my children and me.
    Lost Dreams Awaken Scholarship
    Winner
    My name is Keely Ray, and I am an addict. I have been sober for 4 years now, determined to better my life for the sake of my kids. To me, recovery doesn't only mean being clean and serine from alcohol and drugs. It means so much more than that. It means change for the better. Change plays a significant role in recovery, due to the fact that choosing to eliminate drugs and alcohol from your life will change everything, in ways that can be terrifying to someone in active addiction. But what else changes when choosing recovery? As someone who has been through recovery myself, I have changed in more ways than just staying sober. My mindset, mental health, spirituality, and determination, were all impacted positively by choosing to rid my life of drugs and alcohol. Narcotics anonymous changed my life for the better. Through this program, I was able to get the support that I so desperately craved my entire life, ultimately leading to addiction. Through recovery, my health and wellness have increased significantly, as well as my mental health. These changes have provided me with the ability to reach my full potential as a self-sufficient single mom of 2 in recovery, aiming to create a beautiful drug-free life for my children and me.
    Supermom Scholarship
    Winner
    It is said that motivation is the key to success. I believe that to be true in many ways. Without motivation, I wouldn't be where I am today. But what is motivation? Why is it so important when pursuing a career? What does it have to do with motherhood? What motivates me, Keely Ray, to follow my dreams? I will explain. It's easy for me to say what motivates me. My children. They are the biggest, and most important, motivation to continue shooting for me dreams. Motivation is a tricky word, and many people don't realize what it truly means. The definition of motivation is: 'the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way'. I feel it's easier for people to define what their motivation is, by digging deep into the true meaning of motivation. For me, it's easy to determine what it is that motivates me, and that will always be my kids. Throughout motherhood, I've faced a tremendous amount of struggles. From homelessness, to post partum rage, eventually leading to my oldest son being removed from my care. I worked very hard, and jumped through every hoop, to regain custody of my son. Since then, I have made it my mission to provide my children with the happy and loving life they deserve. I refuse to have the traumas from my childhood define me, and instead, I choose to break the cycle of abuse within my family. This ends with me. My experiences with being a single mom definitely shaped me into the mother I am today, and I am so grateful to have had that eye opener, that then led me to be a better mom. Being a single mom is one of the hardest struggles I've ever had to face. What some people don't realize, is how incredibly stressful it truly is for mothers who receive no support. I pay for all expenses, I show up to every school event, and i take care of my kids solely on a daily basis. I receive no help when it comes to my children. Luckily, I am a strong independent women, trying to better my career for the sake of my kids. It's still very hard though, regardless. In September of 2020, I received the text that changed mine and my son's life forever. His father, 22 at the time, passed away in a horrific car accident, leaving me to care for our son alone. My daughter's father on the other hand, is currently facing time in prison for felony charges, also leaving me to care for our daughter independently. I can honestly say, I don't think I ever truly finished grieving. I had to pick myself up, and show my kids that I am strong, and that i can do this. As a mother, my kids come first. Luckily, as time has gone by, I've gained access to more support in the community, and have taken 7 different parenting classes in the past 3 years. My biggest goal in life, is to be the mother that tried her best, and succeeded. I am determined to create a loving life for my children, even if I have to do it by myself. As long as my children are happy and healthy, that's all that matters.
    Greg Lockwood Scholarship
    Change can sometimes be scary, but in certain situations, it's necessary. In the LGBTQ+ community, it is definitely needed. Coming from someone who is openly pansexual, I am determined that the LGBTQ+ community can make that happen. First though, I'd like to give some examples on why change is needed. The LGBTQ+ community faces many struggles every day, despite homosexual marriage being legalized. I have become close to many people in the community, and have heard of, and seen, some very traumatic situations that involve violence towards LGBTQ+ individuals. For example, a male to female transgender friend of mine, Nikki, was murdered by a transphobic man. I still remember the day she went missing, and the day they found her body. She was only 20 years old when she passed away. My older sister got a bible thrown at her head by my father when she came out as bisexual at 15 years old. There are so many situations in which I have seen discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ community, and it is honestly sickening, and terrifying. I am absolutely horrified by the amounts of trauma that people in the community endure, including myself. I came out as pansexual when I was about 14 years old, around the same time my sister came out. To this day, I will never understand why my father acted so violently towards my sister, yet taunted and made fun of me. It was not fair, and my heart goes out to my dear sister. It was my first year of high school when I decided to come out to my parents, well actually, I wouldn't say I decided to. My parents found out by looking through my phone. They immediately started making fun of me, and never stopped. In high school, I was bullied daily. All of my friends from middle school no longer wanted anything to do with me. I was alone, and scared, with no one there to support me through the struggles of being "different", I see this happen more often than it should in the community, and it's heartbreaking, So you ask, what change do I wish to see in the world? Well, the simple answer would be, for people to stop discriminating others solely based on their sexuality, gender, race, disability, background, etc. I would like to see parents raising their children to be open-minded, understanding, and kind. I would like the stigma on the LGBTQ+ community to end, and for people to see us in a positive light. We are people too, and should be treated as such. I stand for the LGBTQ+ community, and am determined to help make a change for the better.
    Overcoming the Impact of Alcoholism and Addiction
    It is said that how we choose to respond to life's challenges shapes our life, and honestly, when it come to alcoholism and addiction, I'd have to say that I agree. My name is Keely Ray, and my mother was, and still is, an alcoholic. Growing up, she's shown me many reasons to believe the statement above to be true. Being raised by a mother struggling with active addiction gave me some insight into the statement in the first paragraph, in so many ways. My mother was a child abuse victim, and was severely abused in a lot of the same ways I was growing up. Instead of using her trauma as motivation to be a better mother, she instead turned to alcohol and drugs. Since becoming a mother myself, I never blamed my mom for the trauma she put my siblings and I through, but I definitely think she could have done better given the proper support she needed as a stay at home mother in active addiction. I'm going to tell you a little story about a situation involving my mother, older sister, and I that was caused by mental health issues and addiction. When I was 5 years old, my mother was addicted to alcohol and methamphetamines. One day, my sister and I were very energized, which caused her to be overstimulated and angry. I'm not sure to this day what was going through her head, but due to her actions, caused by methamphetamines and alcohol, she created one of the most traumatic days in mine and my sister's lives. She duct taped me and my, then, 7 year old sister to metal chairs, making sure to duct tape our mouths in hopes we wouldn't make any noise. Being a frightened 5 year old at the time, I panicked, and made the mistake of licking the tape off my mouth. I screamed "Help!" as loud as I could. Next thing I knew, I was waking up in bed with my mother crying over me and my eyes swollen shut. This wasn't the first time she beat me, but it was definitely the most traumatizing. It may not make any sense now why I told that terrifying story of my past, but let me explain. The decisions my mother made in active addiction, define who she is today. My mom chooses to block out the challenges that life brings, in hopes of numbing the pain, instead of facing it and owning up to her mistakes. I feel if my mom has chosen to respond differently to her trauma, she wouldn't have traumatized her children, and instead shown us what true motherly love looked like. I love my mom, even though she is an addict who abused me and my siblings growing up. I still find myself praying for her, in hopes that she will one day turn her life around and become the supportive mother I have always wished for. One can only do so much though.
    Empowering Mothers Scholarship for Single Moms
    Keely Ray is the name, single mothering is the game. I am a single mother of two, who is a part of the LGBT community, and can not wait to pursue a career in Real Estate and Graphic Design. I am also a huge advocate for single mothers , domestic violence and child abuse victims. The one thing, or should I say two things, that keep me motivated on a daily basis, are my amazing children. I have an artistically talented and intelligent 4 year old boy, and a sweet and nurturing 2 year old girl, who is also very intelligent. If it wasn't for them, I don't think I ever would have made the decision to pursue a career for myself, and I believe I would have still been working at Domino's, rolling dough all day and barely getting by. Before I get into the challenges I've faced being a single mother trying to pursue my education, I'd like to give a little background on my family. When my son turned two, his father passed away 3 months after his second Birthday. It was absolutely heart breaking, and has left me to raise my son alone. My daughter, who is 2 years younger than my son, was born only one month before my son's father passed. Her father, on the other hand, is currently facing up felony charges, and is being charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, leaving me to care for our daughter independently. I get no help financially from any of mine, or my children's, families. I am an independent mother, who is determined to give my children the stable and non toxic life they deserve. I get asked a lot about the challenges I have faced trying to pursue my education, while also being a mother full time. I wish there was a quick and simple answer, but that just isn't the case. The greatest challenge I have faced, is finding reliable childcare for my children. My son is special needs, and has experienced a great deal of issues with being kicked out of childcare programs, making it difficult for me to work, and go to school. Luckily, he starts Transitional Kindergarten next month, finally giving me the opportunity to focus on myself and my goals, and giving him the chance to socialize with more children his age. Speaking of challenges, there have been many more besides not having access to childcare, which brings me to my second biggest challenge; Money. I have been struggling very bad financially since having kids. Due to the childcare issue, it has made it even harder for me to provide stability income wise for my children and I. By pursuing my education, I hope to finally rid my family of the burden that we've been facing financially, and create the life for them that I always dreamed for as a child. I can't promise that my children's lives will be perfect, but I do know one thing for sure, and that's the fact that I am a hard working mother who would never give up on the ones I love, my children. They don't know this yet, but I look up to them, and I will never stop trying to better myself for them. They are my biggest, and most important motivation to chase my dreams, and I hope my determination inspires them to do the same.