WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - College professors and the officials with the Wichita Falls Housing Authority put their final touches on plans for a scholarship essay writing workshop set to take place Monday evening.
Paris Ward, Resident Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) program coordinator, came up with the idea.
"I graduated high school and I went to college immediately after to the University of Michigan, and in my first semester of college, I got pregnant. I dropped out," Ward said.
The single mother ditched college to provide for her daughter but quickly realized a higher education was something she needed for her growing family.
"I ended up going back to a junior college in Flint. I graduated there with my associate's degree. I went on to get my bachelor's and then my master's," she said.
Four years ago she brought the drive to seek affordable higher education down to Texas when she got a job with the housing authority.
Today, Ward is still paying on her student loans she took out to earn all of her degrees.
"I am on a personal crusade to help future students not end up in the situation that I did," Ward said.
Monday, her crusade will continue with the first Scholarship Essay Writing Night.
College professors and volunteers will help teen and adult learners write essays for scholarships they can apply for.
"They'll go into a room where they will have one on one editing with the professor," Ward said.
The free event, that is open to the public, is a first for Ward and the housing authority. But Ward is hopeful for a good turnout.
"If I can help at least one person, one student, to do that, then I'll feel good when I go to bed at night," she said.
A $500.00 scholarship to Vernon College will also be up for grabs.
This scholarship does not require an essay. Ward said if you plan to attend Vernon College this fall semester and you attend the writing event, you will be entered for a chance to win.
There will also be someone on hand to help students apply for financial aid.
The event is being held at the Wichita Falls Housing Authority at 115 East Wichita St. from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
For more information call Paris Ward at (940) 687-2450.
Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6