Dear St. James Missionary Baptist Church,

I would like to thank the donors of this church for their generosity in giving me this scholarship. It was Jeremy-Waitsa great honor to receive this scholarship and to also become the first recipient of this prestigious award. The St. James Missionary Baptist Church Non Traditional Student Scholarship which awarded me $2,500 came at a much needed time. The award allowed me to have eliminated the debt on my spring semester tuition balance and enroll in the last class I needed to finish my civil engineering degree requirements.

I was born and raised in Wynne, Arkansas and at a very young age I knew I wanted to attend the University of Arkansas. Neither of my parents attended college but they always emphasized the importance of furthering my education. In the city of Wynne which is in the northeastern part of the state the minority population tends to be poorer. For me however, I wanted better and I wanted to make sure that whatever I did, I never forget how a city so small pushed me to becoming a better person. I often visited larger cities and one particular close to Wynne was Memphis, Tennessee and in order to get from Arkansas to Tennessee you have to cross the Mississippi River. The bridge that spans the river was the main reason I chose to pursue a civil engineering degree. I explored options around this state but I knew in my heart that achieving a degree from the University of Arkansas was my ultimate goal.

On August 24, 2010 my life changed forever, this is the day my daughter was born and I still needed to finish college. I didn’t know how I was going do it, for once in my life I was afraid of not achieving my goal. I knew I had to be a provider for my family and I accepted the challenge. The process of pursuing my degree was a long process but with faith and trusting God I was able to achieve this goal. I am happy to say that I received a job from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department as a civil engineer and will begin my career on July 27, 2015.

I would like to thank the donors of St. James Missionary Baptist Church again for their generosity and I hope that this scholarship tradition continues to grow and prosper for years and years to come. A special thank you to Mrs. Monts who informed me on the scholarship, she is definitely an angel in disguise!


Jeremy Waits