Second Annual Walter Ely Scholarship Fund Winner Announced

SDS Board of Directors: Mike Renkin, Loretta Johnson, Linda Harbour, (front) Andrea Schultz with Ruth Porter, Maxine Spell and Martha Peery

Andrea Schultz has won the second Annual Southeastern Developmental Services scholarship in memory of Walter Ely.  Ely, who passed away in 2010, was a well-known figure in Lamar from his one-man can collection drive along Main Street and throughout the community.

Walter Ely – courtesy photo

This is the second year that SDS, Southeastern Developmental Services, has awarded a $500 scholarship.  SDS Executive Director Kim Engsburg said Monday, June 18, the funds come from the can collection that still continues to this day, using two drop off sites in Lamar.  She said there has been enough resident participation to continue the scholarship.  The 1,000 word essay contest was available to anyone who wished to further their education.  There are no age restrictions.  The following is the essay submitted by Schultz to SDS for their consideration:

“It is with great pleasure that I am applying for the Walter Ely Scholarship.  Growing up in Lamar, I learned at a very early age when someone said the word Walter, they were referring to Walter Ely.  I also remember Walter having a friend by the name of Harold Crowley.  On a warm Sunday morning in the late 80’s, Walter and his friend Harold accompanied a couple of my friends, my friend’s mom and I to church in Las Animas.  Harold was also my friends’ mom’s cousin.  I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I laughed at Walter and Harold.  I remember Harold trying to teach us all Spanish, including Walter and laughing till no end.

In November 2009, I thought my life was perfect.  I closed on my first house and found out I was expecting my first child.  Later, in March 2010, my mom had a stroke, leaving her paralyzed.  My mom spent two months at Memorial Hospital.  She then came home to live with me while her house was made handicap accessible. From this point on, my life had changed forever.  I became the main caretaker for my mom which made me very happy that I was able to hold such a title.  Then, in June 2010, I gave birth to my first child with my mom there by my side.  Several months went by and I began questioning why my daughter was not able to roll over or hold her head up.  In June 2011, we took my daughter to Children’s Hospital for an MRI which the results showed that she had cerebral palsy.  Once again, my life would change.

Children with cerebral palsy like my daughter require several different therapies each week.  My daughter’s therapy requirements consist of physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and feeding therapy.  All of this required me to look at my life in a different aspect.  My life required me to wear several different hats and working a full-time job with only a bachelors would not allow me to war all these different hats.

I have an Associate of Arts with an emphasis in Business and Cosmetology from Lamar Community College.  I also have a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Adams State College.  I  am currently enrolled at CSU-Global Online where I am pursuing my Master of Science in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in online teaching.  I like to say that my daughter was my inspiration for continuing my education.

After graduation, I plan to teach online classes.   Teaching has always been my passion.  I spent eight years substituting grades k-12 and three years tutoring college students.  Once I complete my masters I will not only be able to continue my passion for teaching, but care for my family at the same time.  Thank you for time and allowing me such as pleasure as this one.  Walter will live on in my heart forever.”

Andrea Renee Schultz
Lamar, CO  81052

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityEducationEmploymentHealthLamarSchool


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