The Scholarships – Eligibility and How To Apply. Vital Impact (formerly the Massachusetts Educational Foundation) currently distributes scholarships annually to mature women, aged 35 or older, living in Massachusetts, who are embarking on a career transition. To find out how the scholarships have made a difference, learn more about some of our past recipients.
Candidates must meet eligibility requirements, and are subject to a rigorous review and interview process. It will be awarded to a mature woman enrolled in a training or educational program, which will result in a career change. Consideration will be given to special circumstances that have been overcome and the goals of the applicant. The Vital Impact Scholarships are approximately $1,000.00.
Congratulations to 2 deserving recipients in 2013!
Read below to learn more about the six women awarded Vital Impact Scholarships in 2012
Barbara Broussard – Greenfield Community College – Resident of Greenfield, MA
After being in a very controlling and abusive marriage for many years, Barbara uprooted herself and had the courage to leave her violent past with just the clothes on her back. She is now in her second year of a two year program to earn her Associate’s Degree in Human Services. Barbara is determined to use her life experiences and sense of humor coupled with her education to help other women who struggle with abusive relationships and other challenges. For over two decades, she put her two children first, as she wanted the best for them. Incredibly, she and her daughter will both graduate next May, her daughter from a four year college. We are both excited and honored to assist her with her bright future.
Liisa Budge-Johnson – Curry College – Resident of Hanson, MA
Liisa exemplifies “active in her community” through her involvement in numerous organizations. After more than one of the teammates in her women’s soccer league were diagnosed with breast cancer, Liisa took action and initiated Score For a Cure, a soccer tournament that has grown in size and scope to raise money for research for a cure, as well as supporting the women facing Breast Cancer. She has not lost any of her drive, even after being diagnosed herself. As if that were not enough, Liisa is an active public speaker blending warmth, humor and profoundly strong and passionate messages. She has used her own personal adversity as her strength and motivation for her involvement in her community. Liisa is a strong, positive and capable woman who will use her scholarship to obtain a degree in communications so that she can be an informational-motivational speaker with an emphasis on senior citizen issues.
Carla Elder – Bunker Hill Community College, Charlestown – Cambridge Resident
Don’t let her quiet demeanor fool you, Carla Elder is passionate about making a difference in her corner of the world. She has been serving as a Family Advocate for many years in the Boston/Cambridge area where she’s helped many families in need with housing, legal advice, domestic violence counseling, health insurance, temporary financial assistance, education, job readiness and fuel assistance. She has a desire to shift her focus to the elders in her community and is studying to become a Recreational Therapist. In her opinion it’s another group of people that is often overlooked or neglected. You’ll recognize her as the smiling and thankful woman ready to empower others to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.
Ann Reynolds – Assumption College – Worcester, MA – Fitchburg Resident
After putting her 4 children first, they are now Ann’s biggest cheerleaders in motivating her to start a career. During her involvement in their school activities Ann couldn’t help but notice the children that seemed to be falling through the cracks: the ones that didn’t fit the profile of a model student, or sadly those from troubled homes that might be judged as never amounting to anything. This ignited her passion to go to school to attain her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Psychology/Counseling, ultimately to become a high or middle school guidance counselor. She feels it is here she can make a difference in these children’s lives by giving them all a fair chance and helping them navigate through the most crucial years, getting them to “think college” and prevent dropouts. Ann is already demonstrating her determination to reach them and help secure the future of our world.
Wendy Sheppard – Quincy College – Resident of Plymouth, MA
A courageous woman, Wendy left her marriage in order to protect her three young sons from an abusive situation. Now, she is a single parent raising three young children while working as an EMT and attending college to become a Registered Nurse. She is brave, caring and resourceful. She is truly an inspiration to other women dealing with domestic violence in their lives, but above all else, she is an inspiration to her own children. They are her driving force and she is an extremely dedicated, devoted and determined woman. She has already had great success at Quincy College, maintaining a 3.9 GPA while juggling all of her other responsibilities. We are proud to offer her a scholarship.
Ivanka Toudjarska – Babson College – Medford Resident
Ivanka emigrated from Bulgaria to the United States and has quickly become a driving force in her community through hard work, vision and active participation in various programs including a mentoring association which has a profound and positive impact on women in the biotech/pharma/healthcare industry. Ivanka has also volunteered in the Emergency Room and in a community food drive. With her background as a scientist, she is pursuing a career in business development where she can be a leader in the pharmaceutical and medical communities. Given the opportunity, we’re confident Ivanka will be a trailblazer in her field and will continue to open the door and be an inspiration for other women.
Congratulations to the 2011 Scholarship Recipients!
Read below to learn more about the four women awarded Massachusetts Educational Foundation Scholarships in 2011
Heidi DeCourcey - Cape Cod Community College – Kingston Resident
Heidi knew as a teenager that nursing was going to be her ultimate career choice. However, life changes derailed that choice and she pursued an associate’s degree in business majoring in paralegal studies. She found herself drawn to medical cases and discovered that the legal work often times went hand-in-hand with the ethics of medicine and that realization rekindled her desire to become a nurse. Currently employed as a Certified Nursing Assistant in the emergency room at Jordan Hospital has given her hands-on-experience in the medical field. To achieve an Associate Degree in Nursing will complete her short-term goals. She is a single mother of two young boys, works the night shift and attends school during the day. Clearly a bundle of energy, Heidi is committed, well organized and focused on her professional and personal goals.
Diane O’Neil – Lesley University, Cambridge – Cambridge Resident
Diane has a passion for working with underserved children and is planning a career in Educational Social Work. She has recently been accepted into a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies program and she hopes to augment her previous work experience as a day-care teacher. She has two adult children and one grandchild and is excited at the prospects of returning to school. She looks forward to having a career that involves children and families so that she can help them navigate the educational systems. After graduation, Diane will be touching the lives of needy children every day and will be making the world a better place.
Madeline Santiago-Nova – Bunker Hill Community College – Malden Resident
After losing a job as an Administrative Assistant, Madeline began to reassess her life goals. With help from social service networks, she has embarked on a career that will allow her to become a medial interpreter for Spanish-speaking patients. She is enrolled in programs leading to certification as a Community Health Care Worker, as well as a Medical Interpreter. Her certification combined with her caring and warm personality will make Madeline a highly desirable and effective employee in a variety of clinical settings. She has developed self-confidence and knowledge that she will accomplish her personal goals. She is a single mother of two children and her ultimate goal is to become a licensed social worker.
Donna Taylor – Urban College of Boston – Hyde Park Resident
After working several years for two large banking institutions in their processing departments, Donna has decided to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. She is currently attending classes at night and during the summer at Urban College while being employed full-time. She is a caretaker for her mother and is a single parent of a teen-age daughter. Donna expressed that her educational pursuit is in part for advancement for herself, but also as an example of strength and independence for her daughter. She is focused, ambitious and has a non-flappable, can-do-attitude. She looks forward to a career managing others and creating improved systems and working conditions in her place of employment.
Congratulations to Heidi, Diane, Madeline & Donna the Massachusetts Educational Foundation 2011 Scholarship Recipients!!
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“Once again I would like to thank you for your support towards my educational goals. I successfully graduated from Curry College in June 2006 with a Baccalaureate degree in Nursing. I continue to work at Jordan Hospital and just recently qualified for an exciting position in the Cardiac/ Pulmonary Unit of the hospital. This career opportunity was made possible because of my educational achieve-ment. Without this degree I would not have qualified for the position.” – Joanne Wenhold BSN, RN, BC”