After More than 1,200 Women Vie for Education Scholarship, Top Winners Are Announced

Hoboken, NJ (PRWEB) November 26, 2007

eLearners.com, the leader in connecting prospective students with online education, today announced the five winners who will receive a scholarship to help in their pursuit of post-secondary online education. Although the applicants came from diverse backgrounds, some alarming trends became apparent. Many women, especially working moms, face the common barriers of time, money and confidence, with financial aid as the largest and most tangible barrier.

The winners, women from all across the United States, each wrote compelling essays describing why they should receive a cash prize to assist in their educational goals. In the September issue of Woman’s World magazine, eLearners.com offered a $ 1,500 scholarship opportunity for women to pursue their education online. The response was tremendous, with more than 1,200 women submitting essays.

“The trends in the essays spoke loudly to us at eLearners.com and illustrates the lack of part-time financial aid as a crisis in America that is keeping people from improving their lives,” said Andrew Gansler, President of eLearners.com. “This has been an eye-opening experience and we are committed to making a difference. These scholarships are the first step and we will continue to build resources to shed light on and actively address this issue.”

The winners include:

Xochitl, 38, Decatur, GA – Only eight classes from graduation, this single mom has faced illness, family tragedy and much more – but she is determined to use her bilingual skills in English and Spanish to get her master’s degree and make a difference in communities where her services are desperately needed.

“When I heard the news that I had won, I cried. Words cannot describe how I felt,” said Xochitl Araica “Once I complete my undergraduate degree, I want to serve my community, focusing on the minority youth. I want to work with a non-profit organization in building leadership, prevention programs working against gangs and pregnancy prevention.”

Jeanne, 36, Burbank, CA – After making poor choices as a young adult, this mother changed her life and became inspired by her children. Determined to get her degree, even alone with an infant, she added credits slowly but surely over the years. She is now going back to school for an additional degree, determined to hear her kids yell, “You did it Mom! You did it! You did it again!”

“I can’t wait to hear my children screaming my name again from the stands,” said Jeanne Sarmiento. “They are my inspiration. They are holding my hands as I realize my dream. I will do it. I will do it, again.”

Martha, 54, Madison, IN – Abuse, betrayal, illness and death made this woman a stronger person. She is now committed to using her life’s extremely difficult lessons to help others by obtaining a degree in psychology. She also wants to earn a master’s degree online with a special emphasis in ministry/chaplaincy.

“At age 54 there was concern about beginning college and studying for the next six years,” said Martha Best. “A wise friend told me that I could be 60 with a degree or 60 without a degree. Either way I would be 60. What wisdom.”

Cheryl, 31, Riverview, FL – Her kind heart and dedication to helping animals as a young girl turned into a love for healthcare to help people. In high school, her counselor discouraged her from pursuing her dream to be a nurse and she became a cosmetologist instead. She did, eventually, start to go to school part time and faced another barrier- ovarian cancer. She still became a nurse and is now determined to use the flexibility of online learning to take it one more step – to obtain her RN-BSN to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.

“My first step is to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing, but with working full-time at the hospital and living paycheck-to-paycheck, the dream seems far away,” said Cheryl Combs. “That’s where the online RN-BSN program will help me achieve this goal. I can still work and go to school in my pajamas if I want.”

Helen, 50, Andover, VT – Helen has given her heart and soul most of her life to her foster children, each with special needs. But, at age 50, she wants to make a different mark on this world – as a paralegal. The credentials would allow her to work as an aide in the classroom or go on to study law. At 50, looking for a new adventure, she is ready to conquer the world.

“I have always felt that it is an important part of who I am to shed light on the path for others. Teaching, building hope, encouraging while brightening the way, those were the attributes I strived for,” said Helen Gordon. “As I lift that torch higher to light my own path, I can see the world ahead. I’m looking forward to my new adventure.”

Why Study Online?

Each of these winners will use the eLearners.com scholarship to advance their degree online. Online education is a growing industry and Eduventures, the leading research and consulting firm for the education industry, predicts one out of 10 post secondary students will enroll in an online distance education program by early 2008. Getting a degree online is the perfect way for adults to fit school into their busy schedule. By taking classes online they can study when their kids go to bed or before work. An online degree also allows students to study from the convenience of home.

Overcoming the Cost Barrier

The large number of essays eLearners.com received proves one of the biggest obstacles for going back to school is cost. In addition to providing scholarship assistance, eLearners.com just launched a fast, easy and free scholarship database with more than $ 14 billion in financial aid from various resources. The database includes awards from the freshman to graduate level, which are categorized based on local, state, national and international scholarships. The database can be found at http://www.elearners.com/scholarships/.

For more information on eLearners.com, log on to http://www.eLearners.com. To interview one of the scholarship winners, contact Jenny Foust or Alicia Hassinger at 303.433.7020.

About eLearners.com

Since 1999, eLearners.com, an EducationDynamics company, has been successfully connecting learners to online education, including degree and certificate programs, specialized training, and a variety of courses. For prospective students, eLearners

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