Three women who have made a difference in the lives of many were recognized at the Fresh Start Scholarship Foundation Award luncheon on October 14th.
Allison T. Butler’s early years were filled with challenges — she raised four siblings when her adoptive parents died, endured abusive relationships and made bad decisions leading to incarceration. Butler has overcome significant hurdles, making a fresh start and achieving career success with the launch of her own business Pamper Perfect Mobile Spa. Butler received the 2016 Inspiration Award.
Bonita Penn is a Fresh Start graduate who has overcome significant personal and financial challenges, has excelled academically, and built a career as a professional. Her rise to success started with the help of a Fresh Start Scholarship, ultimately allowing Penn to graduate with a BS degrees in Nursing and Psychology from Delaware State University in 2011. Already a Registered Nurse, Penn hopes to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. She received the 2016 Achievement Award.
Barbara Buckley, who administers the scholarship program at Fresh Start, received the Muriel E. Gilman Champion Award for her “extraordinary efforts to help FSSF make significant strides forward and to increase the program’s awareness.”
Presented in partnership with Wilmington Women in Business, the 20th Anniversary Luncheon and award ceremony kicked off with a passionate speech by Fresh Start Scholarship Foundation (FSSF) President Rita Wilkins, who said, “A fresh start is about women breaking barriers for themselves. Our mentors are with them on their journey.”
To date, FSSF has given $830,000 in scholarships to 186 women, and 97% of funds raised go toward scholarships. There are currently 34 scholars in the program, and Fresh Start is looking for more candidates, as 17 are expected to graduate from the program this year.