Kirkwood Scholarships


We have generous donors that believe in the power of higher education.

Bridgehaven receives a yearly donation designated for scholarships for clients attending Kirkwood. Clients in the Earn While You Learn program have the opportunity to complete an application, essay, and interview with us. Each year, we are blessed and inspired by the stories of goals, overcoming obstacles, reliance on God, and the power of determination.

This year, we had three applicants apply for the scholarship, and all three were awarded amounts that complemented other grants and scholarships they were receiving. Two clients received Kirkwood scholarships through Bridgehaven last year and can now continue their education in the fields of nursing and human services. They have been very successful in their programs with honors and high recognition! Bridgehaven is so proud of them and honored to be able to walk alongside them in their journey.

Following are portions of their stories, motivations, and dreams surrounding their educational goals. Join me in celebrating and offering up thanks and praises for these people and their educational desires.

Question: How would the opportunity to attend classes at Kirkwood complement the dreams you have for your life?

EWYL client response: “During the time I was in school I didn’t have any support from my son’s dad and I didn’t have anyone to watch over my son. My first thought was making sure whatever I wanted had to be set aside to make sure he was taken care of. I also did not have any type of financial support and I lost my dad during that time. It can be hard being a single parent with no support.

But now I am in a better place mentally, spiritually, and physically, becoming a better me! With this chance, I hope to build a foundation to change the cycle of not finishing school that I have seen in my family history. I want a life of success for my son and I. I want to be able to look back on life and see whatever I put my mind to, I succeeded. This will require a lot of hard work and dedication. I would like my son to see that life is not always about struggling but about getting out there to better yourself, to become the best you!

I have my CNA and am pursuing Medical Assisting, I want to be successful and to find a career, not just another job. I like to help people and make a difference. I believe in myself and have the support of my son and Bridgehaven.”

EWYL client response: “I am interested in pursuing my Associates of Arts in Human Services and Behavioral Health Paraprofessional diploma because I want to help my community and our children have a better future. I want to transfer to Mt. Mercy after graduating from Kirkwood.

I arrived in this country with a lot of illusions. The only thing I wanted was to have a perfect life in this country and start working with my husband to achieve that dream.

The first obstacle was that I did not speak English, it was a dark time for me as I fell into depression. Fortunately, I found non-profits that offer free English classes for immigrants. At Bridgehaven, I started learning the English language as my second language.

In the fall of 2014, I started taking ESL classes at Kirkwood. It was difficult because I was a mother and wife and I did not have any idea how to use technology that was being used in college. I did my best and I finished in four semesters with my English classes and started to take classes in my major of Early Childhood Education. Since I have been taking classes, I have obtained a B+ average.

In the spring of 2016, I received an honor from the college for being among the best students with a GPA of 3.77. That was a very special moment for myself, my family and those institutions that believed in me and gave me their moral and financial support.

“The faculty of the English Department has selected you as one of ten Kirkwood Outstanding Students in English for 2016. This is a significant accomplishment; your hard work, dedication, and talent set you apart from the thousands of students who enrolled in English Department courses over the past twelve months. The Kirkwood English Department faculty are pleased that students with your intellectual curiosity and drive have been part of their literature and writing courses.” – Kirkwood Executive Dean English, Arts & Humanities

In May 2019, I will be graduating from Kirkwood and plan to attend Mt. Mercy. It’s going to be a difficult road but I have to do it for myself, my family and the people who believe in me but above all for the people who need my help as a professional. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to apply for this scholarship!”

EWYL client response: “I must define my dream for the future. I dream of a happy, financially-stable future for my children with a fulfilling career as a nurse. Finishing my classes at Kirkwood is the key to making this dream a reality. It’s not to say that I can’t or don’t have a happy life now but the struggle of balancing kids and work is difficult even for the best of us. I struggle to have the energy after work to spend the time with them that they deserve. Working in a so-called dead end job that eats at you only makes your level of happiness decline as time goes on.

Nursing is a job that makes a difference. When my grandmother passed, I felt a calling to help others with end of life care. You work with people who really need your help every day. That means every day you have the chance to make someone’s life just a little bit better and I believe that is my calling. It’s not the easiest route or the highest paid but it shows my children that you can make a difference and you can find happiness with your work. I want them to be proud of their mother and show them they can make it in life. I hope to show them that college is totally doable, as my daughter says. Going to Kirkwood not only provides the stepping stone into a worthwhile career but also helps me to be a role model to my children.

This last semester has been very difficult and, I honestly almost quit, but every time I felt like quitting, God nudged me back to my path. It was one of the hardest things I have had to do, but I managed to finish the semester and I didn’t give up. I have the support of my boyfriend, kids, brother and God. I even made the Dean’s list and made the grades required to enter the technical portion of the nursing program.

Going to Kirkwood shows my children not to give up and that even though things get hard and the path is bumpy, in the end, it will be a journey well worth it.”

Dawn Michaels

Dawn Michael

Director of Client Support

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