The 2014 Bond & Botes Financial Hardship Scholarship has been awarded to Niya McCray, who will be attending the Vanderbilt University Law School this fall. The $2,000 award will help defray her tuition costs, but it was the road Niya traveled to get this far that really made an impression.
Ms. McCray had been adversely affected by family financial difficulties, but she managed to work through the hardships, demonstrating great tenacity in the pursuit of her goal to practice law.
In the essay she wrote for the scholarship, Niya explained that her mother had been the financial engine behind getting a good education. But after a job transfer to Georgia from Birmingham, Alabama, and a subsequent lay-off, her mother was no longer able to assist Niya with her education. Things looked grim. “She was no longer able to provide any financial assistance, no matter how small, towards the pursuit of my education. Thus, my educational choice became contingent upon the quantity of financial resources instead of the quality of the education to be received.”
By working while taking classes, and with academic scholarships and grants, Niya was able to graduate from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Arts degree earlier this year. She has consistently appeared on the Dean’s list there and was accepted to the University’s law school this fall.
We know challenges remain for Ms. McCray, but we expect her to continue to overcome them. I believe these experiences will help make her a better lawyer, and expect to welcome her into the profession in a few short years.
Niya says her mother has recently found new employment, although at only half her old salary. Meanwhile, it is plain that Niya’s determination hasn’t lessened. Her story is inspiring and she is being truthful when she writes: “I am dedicated to my education; I am a hard worker; I am passionate and committed to the pursuit and attainment of success and I am as intellectual as I am sensitive to the plights of others.” No brag, just fact.
Bond & Botes, PC helps people dealing with money problems in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Contact any of our locations to speak with an experienced attorney about how we can help you.
Brad Botes is a principal of each of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Alabama, and a Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He and his team of bankruptcy lawyers have spent over 30 years guiding people through financial challenges. Read his full bio here.