Tiffany Horton works two jobs and is raising a 12-year-old son while taking classes at MU.
On Tuesday, I learned that she was the only winner of the Working Parents Scholarship for Fall 2021 from Job-Applications.com. She won a $1,000 prize by writing an essay on what it’s like to balance these responsibilities.
“None of this would be possible without the support of my son,” she wrote in her post. “I want to set a good example for him and eventually be able to help shape policies that may directly affect his future.”
Horton is a fourth-year BA in Social Work with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. She is more passionate about social work that focuses on politics.
“I want to focus on military mental health,” Horton said in an interview. “When a soldier breaks his ankle, he is immediately taken to the doctor, but when he says he has dark thoughts, he usually makes fun of him.”
Before going to school, Horton was on duty. Several members of her family also served.
Horton, 37, plans to graduate in December 2022. She said her education was made possible thanks to her former boss, Joan Hirsen. While Hermson works in the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan now, in 2014, she was chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies department.
“I asked why I didn’t get a degree,” Horton said. “I had to look at this seeming woman’s face and say ‘I was a bad student, so I quit. “
Hermson asked the department to help pay for Horton’s books in her first few semesters to ensure she could go to class.
“The financial pressure on working parents returning to school in Missouri and across the United States cannot be overstated, particularly during this terrible pandemic,” Doug Crawford, president of Job-Applications.com, said in a press release. “Our National Working Parent Scholarship is our way to help reduce some of that pressure.”
In her essay about the scholarship, Horton said, since she had expired for her eligibility for Pell Grants, “I will have to take on such a greater burden of student loan debt that I fear I may never be able to get out from under it.”
However, Horton ultimately says she is in an advantage over some of the other MU students.
“There are other students on this campus who also have full-time jobs and 4-6 semesters,” she said. “I want to admit that I am very fortunate that I will only attend two semesters.”