After leaving a difficult marriage five days before the birth of her second child, Linda suddenly found herself a single mother needing to find a way to provide a safe, stable future for her family. She knew that going back to school was the way “to build a life for my children,” and in considering her options, she knew that she wanted to help other moms going through similar situations, so she enrolled in the paralegal program at Spokane Community College. But while she was able to fund her first year of school through loans, she didn’t receive enough financial aid to cover the costs of her second year and thought she was going to have to drop out.
Fortunately, she was selected as a recipient for the Spokane Valley Fire Department employees’ scholarship, which allowed her to return for her second year. Linda says that she “couldn’t have done it” without this financial support, and she is incredibly grateful to all the SVFD employees who are helping keep her on the path to a brighter future. She is determined to prove that “she is worth the investment” and has been on the honor roll every quarter at SCC! She is also active both in the Leadership Society and the Legal Advisory Board at SCC, as well as in the community, where she volunteers with Santa Express to benefit the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery.
Linda acknowledges that it has been a difficult journey battling “the depression of divorce and the emotional struggles I endured for five years,” as well as adjusting to her oldest daughter’s recent diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. But she is determined to succeed and knows that if she continues to work hard, she “can and will rise above the obstacles that life puts in my path.” Part of her recovery from her abusive marriage has been realizing that her “self-worth isn’t defined by somebody else” and that she is “a strong, caring person who is raising my children to be healthy, strong, caring individuals.” She says that “knowing other people believe in me” helps her believe in herself and stay focused on “the new life” she’s creating for herself and her children.