Going the distance

A scholarship helps a single mother be a full-time professional and a full-time student

For many students, the financial stress of having to pay for school weighs heavily. For students like Ashley Walther, a single mom and K-State Global Campus student, that stress is even greater.

But the Maes-Hemmendinger Family Scholarship helped relieve some of that stress.

K-State’s Global Campus was built to provide educational opportunities for adult learners. It offers degree programs in multiple areas for people who cannot make it to campus every day. Students like Ashley benefit from this accredited online learning opportunity because of the flexibility it provides them.

“Global Campus allowed me to schedule school when I can. The flexibility of the program allowed me to continue my education full time and keep balance in my life,” said Walther, who graduated in 2019 and works as a dietary counselor in New Jersey.

Walther, who lived in Washington at the time, double majored in nutrition and health, and dietetics, while also working full time as a head dietetic technician at an eating disorder facility. By enrolling at K-State Global Campus, she was able to work and gain vital experience for her professional growth.

Walther’s daily schedule was hectic at times, not only with being a full-time student, but also having a full-time job and a daughter in preschool. She began each day at 5:30 a.m. with her online classes through K-State Global Campus. She watched her lectures, took notes and did homework. After dropping her daughter off at day care, she had an hour-long drive to her job as a dietetic technician, where she worked until 7 p.m. most days.

The most important part of her day was spending quality time with her daughter after work. After putting her daughter to bed, it was back to working on school, where at night she finished her homework and took exams for the week.

Walther said finishing her degree and getting her career started would not have been possible without the help of scholarships and K-State’s Global Campus.

“Global Campus afforded me the financial ability to attend school without having to take out costly loans and relieved much of the stress that comes from having to allocate funds to put toward my tuition while juggling being a single mother,” she said.

The Maes-Hemmendinger Scholarship is available to both undergraduate and graduate students admitted to a distance education degree program offered through K-State Global Campus. The scholarship was established by Sue Maes, retired dean of K-State Global Campus. She and her husband, Dennis Hemmendinger, are happy they can help students further their education through distance learning.

Walther appreciates the support.

“Global campus is a great opportunity for working single mothers and anyone who wants to further their education,” Walther said. “Don’t let the belief that there is not enough time in the day among all your other responsibilities hold you back.”

Ashley Walther

To support K-State Global Campus, contact Heather Strafuss at heathers@ksufoundation.org or 785-775-2146, or give online here.

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