Scholarship Stories: Christine M.

Christine was already interested in a handful of colleges when she heard Rebecca Suttles speak at a community meeting last summer.

“I returned to my office the next day and had an email waiting for me from Christine. The subject line was ‘READY,’” Rebecca says. “I couldn’t help but laugh. It always warms my heart when I can get students excited about the college application and financial aid processes.”

Rebecca spends a great amount of time meeting one-on-one with local students. Christine was no exception: she began meeting biweekly with Rebecca, and as they got to know each other, Rebecca realized that this teenager was facing some very adult challenges.

Christine needed to maintain a strong academic record to receive a college scholarship. But she worked 30-plus hours a week at a local grocery store to support her family who depended on her income. She was responsible for all her high school costs, and as the first person in her family to attend college, she would be responsible for those expenses too.

The stress was wearing on Christine, and she began losing hope for the future she envisioned. But Rebecca encouraged her to continue the application process. So she did.

Last year, in May, Christine learned that she had received the foundation’s Together We Can scholarship, among several others.

“Christine had earned enough financial aid to attend her first-choice school, Agnes Scott,” Rebecca says. “It was a huge win for Christine, for her family and for Chattanooga — and a testament to the impact of the Together We Can scholarship fund.”