When Cerro Coso student Lee Anne Zajicek went looking for scholarships to apply for on the college website she was surprised to find one to fit her needs. This mother of eight with six grandchildren and a Bachelor's Degree doesn't meet the requirements for most traditional scholarships, but that didn't stop her from pursuing financial assistance with her dream of becoming a Montessori Teacher.
Lee Anne applied for a StorageMart ScholarSmarts Scholarship. Five recipients were chosen to receive $1,000 awards from a pool of nearly 400 submissions. Three of the recipients were from universities in Canada and one from New York. Lee Anne was the only recipient chosen from a community college. "I'd like other Cerro Coso students to know that they can, in fact, compete against big universities for scholarships," said Lee Anne in an interview.
It didn't take long for her to write a short essay answering the question "How has self-storage improved your lifestyle"—a topic Lee Anne is very familiar with, having moved 14 times in 10 years while her husband was in the U.S. Navy. "Self-storage helped me to de-clutter my home and improved the quality of life for my family," she said.
Lee Anne holds a Bachelor's Degree in History from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She worked in Human Services and Security for the Federal Government and quit to homeschool and care for her children. Four of her children are grown, one is currently taking classes at Cerro Coso, and Lee Anne is homeschooling another that is enrolled concurrently at the college, as well as her twins in the sixth grade.
"I really missed interacting and teaching the little ones. They bring special joys," said Lee Anne. So, she got a job working as an Assistant Teacher in Dianne Finder's class at Balas Montessori and set a goal of becoming a Montessori Certified Teacher. She is currently taking Child Development classes at Cerro Coso, while working towards her Montessori credential through United Montessori Association, and is planning to use the award to attend the International Montessori Congress this summer in Portland, Oregon.
"I love working with the children and hope to someday teach my own Montessori class," said Lee Anne. "This scholarship will help me to achieve my dream."
For more information on scholarships available at Cerro Coso Community College, contact the Financial Aid Department at 760-384-6221.For further information, please contact Natalie Dorrell, Public Information (760) 384-6260