Estrella King, scholarship recipient

Life was not easy when Estrella King was growing up in the Philippines. Her family was poor. When her mother got sick, there was no money for a doctor, so Estrella became her caregiver. She didn't know what was wrong, only that her mother was in a lot of pain. As a child, Estrella would sometimes be up all night, doing her best her soothe her mother with whatever remedies she could find. 

Everyone knew Estrella's mother was sick, but no one knew how to help her. Estrella's teachers, knowing her situation, often let her sleep in class. One day, Estrella promised her mother she'd become a nurse.

"I thought to myself, 'What are you saying?'" Estrella recalls. With no money for school, her dream looked impossible. 

After her mother died, Estrella got married and moved to the United States. She couldn't speak English, but she did her best to raise the two children that came along shortly afterward.

Life wasn't easy in the U.S. either. Estrella lost everything in a hurricane. Her marriage was unhappy. So Estrella started over again.

She still didn't have money for school, but Estrella found several agencies that helped her get the education she needed. Estrella began learning English and taking other classes. When she was admitted to Davis Tech's Practical Nurse program and received a scholarship, Estrella was finally able to fulfill the promise she made to her mother so many years ago. 

Even though she still struggles, Estrella is grateful for second chances. "In the Philippines, there isn't any such thing as a scholarship. If you don't have the money to go to school, you don't go."

That's why Estrella is so grateful for the financial help she received. Starting over so many times would be difficult for anyone, but Estrella has a simple explanation for how she got through. "I'm a survivor," she says.