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Centre native receives Gadsden State scholarship from women’s group

Centre, Ala. – Megan Martin feels it was divine intervention when she became the recipient of the annual Women’s Club of Weiss Lake Scholarship to Gadsden State Community College.

“I had just decided to further my education when my husband’s truck burned,” she said. “He’s an over-the-road truck driver and it was our only source of income. It was a horrible time. I had just been accepted into the Nursing program. Now what? What do we do to feed our children? How are we going to pay our bills? What are we going to do?”

Soon, she regained her composure and an optimistic outlook.

“God has gotten me this far, and I wasn’t giving up,” she said. “I was blessed to be accepted into the program and there was no way I was going to stop now.”

Martin, a 34-year-old lifelong resident of Centre, called Luanne Hayes, the director of Gadsden State Cherokee. Hayes told her about the scholarships and financial assistance programs that she could utilize. She applied for the Women’s Club of Weiss Lake Scholarship as well as a grant through the Alabama Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a program that provides training to those with significant barriers to employment. She received both.

“I was thrilled when I found out about the scholarship and about receiving assistance from WIOA for being a first-generation college student,” she said. “It was a God-thing. I am so blessed. I get very emotional just thinking about how everything just fell into place.”

She said she is thrilled to be the fifth recipient of the WCWL scholarship, which pays for half of her tuition while attending classes at Gadsden State Cherokee.

“Members of the Women’s Club are the sweetest ladies,” Martin said. “I was so happy to be able to meet them and thank them for the difference they have made in my life.”

Furthering her education is also making a difference in the lives of her children – Cooper, 14; Lyla, 11; and Cali, 8.

“My children are watching everything I’m doing,” she said. “They keep me in line. They ask me about assignments and my test scores. They see me going back to school at my age, and they see me working hard. I want them to know it’s possible to do whatever you set your mind to. I’m trying to be the best role model and momma I can be to them.”

WCWL Scholarship Winner 2019

Megan Martin, center, is joined by members of the Women’s Club of Weiss Lake during a scholarship reception held in her honor. Martin is the fifth recipient of a scholarship that is awarded to a Cherokee County resident attending Gadsden State Cherokee. She is in her second semester of the Nursing program.

The Women’s Club of Weiss Lake is a community organization that aims to enhance the quality of life in Cherokee County. Club members include residents from throughout the county, many of whom are semi-retired professionals. The partial scholarship is awarded to a female student who is a resident of Cherokee County and attending Gadsden State Cherokee. The recipient must have demonstrated academic excellence by maintaining a 3.0 GPA in all courses completed. They must also show financial need.

Martin looks forward to her future and is glad she chose Gadsden State Cherokee.

“Having a college just three miles from home is extremely convenient,” she said. “Everything is right here close to home. It was a no-brainer to take classes at Gadsden State Cherokee. I encourage everyone to enroll at Gadsden State. If I can do it, you can do it.”