Julie Penney

Junior | Black Hills State University

I am writing to thank you for your generous $1,000 scholarship from AAAE. Upon getting the confirmation that I was a recipient, I was not only grateful but relieved. As you are well aware, getting a degree is very expensive and any help given is truly a blessing. I am a nontraditional student and have always wanted a college degree. I grew up in a home that didn’t value education and was told multiple times growing up that I would not be going to college and not to give it a thought. However, all of my friends in high school went to college and when that time came and went, I was very sad. As a young adult, I got a job, a $250.00 car, and started working to make ends meet. I didn’t live at home. In fact, I started living in an apartment 4 months before even graduating from high school. I have worked hard at all my jobs and was able to work my way up through the ranks as time went on and had a family of my own. Because I wanted to get an education so much when I was young, I was determined the same thing would not happen to my own children. One has already graduated and she’s working in Austin, TX in her field and my other child is going to be a senior in his field this year. Since I have raised my kids, I decided it was time to make my dream come true of getting a degree. I am going to Black Hills State University in Rapid City, SD and getting my degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Management. I should graduate in the Spring of 2019. My goal is to become a residential appraiser. Right now I’m also working full-time as an Administrative Assistant while going to school. I want to “thank you” for helping my dream come true and giving toward my education. I promise not to take this opportunity for granted and will work as hard as possible.