At Thomas Law Offices, we’re proud to take part in an annual scholarship campaign aimed to help students chase their dreams and build a brighter future. The Fall 2019 submission period just came to a close, and we were truly humbled by the overwhelming amount of applications we received. We received over 700 applications! The quality of the essays we received was outstanding. Thank you to everyone who applied!
We’re pleased to announce we’ve chosen a winner.
Congratulations to Amy Loper of Oregon!
Amy will be attending Denver Seminary, and is entering the Master of Divinity program.
This was the essay topic:
“Explain a time that you were truly grateful for someone else’s help and how it impacts you today.”
This was her winning essay:
Gratitude for a Saturday in January
“Moving into a new house is decidedly stressful – carefully packing boxes, navigating tight hallways, organizing furniture. But moving can also bring a sense of wonder and mystery wrapped in opportunity, topped with a ribbon of wellbeing. When I moved, I received many gifts: a beautiful home to rent, an expansive backyard for my three boys to play in, an office space just for me—and enough toilet paper to last a year! The best gift I received, however, was a new sense of freedom because this was not an ordinary move.
Only six months before moving, I had realized that I was in an abusive marriage. I knew instantly I had to decide for myself and my three young children about our future. While it was the hardest choice, I knew it was the best choice to pursue a divorce. Over time my mom helped me pack my belongings as I took care of my infant twin boys and their older brother. Finally, after months of an impossible living situation, someone in my church who had found a short-term job out of town rented their house to me.
A team of about ten people from my church arrived to move me out of one house and into another all in one day. They quickly got to work loading boxes and furniture into the truck. Meanwhile, another group of people was already cleaning at my new house. In a flash, everything was loaded, transported twenty minutes across town, and unloaded. Then they assembled two cribs, a toddler bed, my bed frame – and they even repaired a wobbly dining room table. I had no living room furniture because I could not afford to buy any, so people graciously donated a loveseat, a recliner, a sectional, lamps, and an end table. People even brought me household supplies and kitchen utensils. During one of my most vulnerable moments, I had people I didn’t even know surround me with support, assistance, and love instead of judgment and criticism. They showered me with compassion and gave me the help I needed to change my life and the life of my children.
Like a forgotten childhood toy suddenly discovered, moving brought a spark of light and joy into my life once again as I shed the oppressive weight of a seven-year abusive marriage. In my new house, I was safe. I had space to breathe. I started to remember my voice; that my thoughts and feelings were valid and valuable. Lastly, I remembered how to dream. I dreamed of discovering a career path that would combine my passions for learning, growth, connection, and helping others – teaching. The first step to all of this came from a group of people willing to give up several hours on a Saturday in January.
Now, three and a half years later, I am still genuinely grateful for the help I received moving. I am reminded daily of their generosity when I sit on my furniture, turn on my table lamps, or serve dinner with the black Oxo serving spoon. I consider how their sacrifice of time gave me peace of mind and the opportunity to begin anew. I cherish that my children are no longer in a cycle of abuse and can learn how to have healthy relationships. Because of the kindness I was shown, last year I was eager to extend the same help to pack belongings and clean an apartment for another woman escaping an abusive situation. And I know in ten years, when I have long-since finished graduate school and my children will be nearing the end of high school, I will smile fondly when reminiscing about the incredible gift I received from many helping hands.
For more information on our next scholarship period which will be for Fall 2020, please see our law firm’s scholarship page. Congratulations again, Amy! May all your dreams come true.