Bond & Botes, P.C., is pleased to announce the winner of our undergraduate Financial Hardship Scholarship for 2016.
Monica D. Penny, a 2016 graduate of Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School, is starting her collegiate academic journey at Alabama State University, Montgomery. The $2,000 Bond & Botes scholarship will go toward Penny’s first-year tuition.
The law firm honored Penny’s academic achievements in an award ceremony on Oct. 21 at the Bond, Botes, Shinn & Donaldson, P.C., office in Montgomery. Attorney Bradford W. Botes extended congratulations from all the firm’s attorneys and staff members.
“You have really worked hard to achieve all of the things you have in order to be accepted to college and to excel in college,” Botes told Penny. “We’re so proud of you, we’re so happy for you, and we’re just honored to be able to help you with your education and we wish you the best. And if we can ever help you, please let us know.”
About the Scholarship
The 2016 Bond & Botes Financial Hardship Scholarship is designed to help young people avoid taking on excessive amounts of debt as they pursue higher education at the undergraduate and law school levels. The two scholarships, for $2,000 each, are offered to young people who grew up, currently live or soon plan to live in Mississippi, Tennessee or Alabama.
The law school scholarship is available to students entering their first year, while the undergraduate scholarship is offered to students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program or high school seniors entering college in the fall. Applicants must hold a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0, and they’re asked to submit short essays detailing how they’ve succeeded in spite of economic hardship and how they have helped others overcome their own financial challenges.
A Stellar Record of Service
As Penny’s application and essay demonstrated, she has succeeded academically in spite of facing challenges, and she has lent a hand to others along the way.
Her high school honors include National Junior Honors Society, Oratorical Speech Contest Winner (second place), a high school advanced diploma and ACT Work Keys Silver. In her essay, Penny explained that meeting those goals wasn’t always easy.
For Penny, the child of a single mother, money was tight — with no government assistance available and no help from Penny’s father. The family’s budget had to stretch even more when the academically gifted Penny entered a magnet school program in middle school.
“It was a completely new experience for me and my mother,” she wrote, explaining that the rigorous new workload brought additional expenses, such as the need to purchase a printer and computer. Penny also made the cheerleading squad, which came with its own additional expenses. Eventually, she took on a job in addition to her schooling to help make ends meet.
But Penny’s challenges and full schedule didn’t stop her from finding time to help others, including babysitting and providing transportation to help a friend — who had a child at age 15 — complete her own studies. She also provided transportation to and from work and school on a daily basis for a friend who could not afford to repair a car following an accident.
Thanks to her strength of character and determination, Penny was accepted to Alabama State University, where she always wanted to go.
“Throughout my life, my mind has always been set to go to college,” she wrote. “It is much easier said than done, of course. The main struggle has been the financial aspect of college. Financial challenges have been tough, but my family, friends, and I have overcome them all and my determination to reach college has remained strong.”
The team at Bond & Botes, P.C., is honored to assist scholarship winner Monica Penny in furthering her education, and we hope that other young people will find inspiration in her hard work and enduring pursuit of her dreams. To learn more about the scholarships, please contact us.