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Andrea M. - 2009 Changing Life Award Winner

When I started working with Andrea, approximately two years ago, she had been studying for her GED but did not have the money to pay for the tests. She came to EICAP to ask for help, it was easy to see that this was very important to her and she had a sincere determination to find a way to achieve this goal. EICAP paid for the GED tests, and was happy to do so. Andrea earned her GED and immediately started to focus on a new dream/goal, college.

Andrea is the first person in her family to go to college. I believe she is the first one in her family to achieve a high school equivalent education.  When she learned that going to college could actually become a reality for her and she made the commitment to go, she endured some pretty harsh criticism from some of her family and friends.  She was told that she shouldn’t go, that something like this was out of reach for her and she would not be able to do this and would only get hurt.

I along with several others would beg to differ. Andrea is an intelligent and amazing person. She has more true grit and honest determination to improve her life situation than anyone I have had the privilege of knowing let alone work with.  I am extremely proud of Andrea, her accomplishments are many, and she is not done yet.  More and more all the time, Andrea reminds me of Dr. Donna Beegle.

Andrea is currently attending school at the University of Montana in Missoula, MT. EICAP funding has paid for part of her tuition and housing expenses. She applied for several scholarships, one being the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program scholarship, which was crucial in order to pay the bulk of the out of state tuition fees. In order to continue eligibility for this scholarship funding she must maintain 15 credits/semester and at least a 3.0 GPA. She must also work part-time to make ends meet.

When asked if she would allow me to nominate her for this Award her reply was, “Yeah, you can nominate me if you like; though I am not so sure I am outstanding enough to deserve it”.  I would like to tell her there is no one more deserving by giving her this prestigious award.