The Barn was Rockin’ at the 2017 Jingle Mingle!
On Thursday, December 7, supporters of Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas (SPSF NWA) kicked off the 2017 holiday season in style at the annual Jingle Mingle. Held at Barn at the Springs in Springdale, more than 200 scholarship recipients, graduates, board members, volunteers, staff, and community advocates gathered to celebrate those who give the gift of education to single parents.
Guests witnessed first-hand the impact that higher education makes on scholars, as SPSF NWA Executive Director Tyler B. Clark introduced the evening’s special guest speaker, 5-time scholarship recipient Jordan Bolinger, who shared her incredible story of determination and success.
“I vividly remember being 15, sitting alone on my bathroom floor, crying. I knew at that time that my life would soon change forever. I was 15 and I was pregnant. I was terrified, I was broken and so empty. That night, looking down at my barely visible pregnant belly, I made a promise to my baby that we would be okay. At the time though, I wasn’t quite sure how. I didn’t know how to drive, I had never had a job, and a 9th grade education wasn’t going to get me too far.”
Crediting the encouragement and support of SPSF NWA on transforming the lives of her and her 11-year-old son, Bolinger moved the crowd to tears by recounting her journey to success.
“Standing here tonight, thinking back at that time seems almost like a lifetime ago. So much has changed, so many memories have been made, from a newborn baby’s cry, to a toddler’s messy finger-paintings….from learning how to ride a bike, to hitting a baseball. I am now 27 and my son Brysen is 11. I graduated in June of 2016 as a Licensed Practical Nurse and will graduate December 2018 as a Registered Nurse. The Single Parent Scholarship Fund of NWA has been the sole financial supporter of my education.”
Clark also shared the following update about the 2017 scholarship program:
- SPSF NWA distributed scholarship awards worth approximately $371,000 to 132 families
- 29 scholarship recipients graduated
- The average cumulative GPA of recipients was 3.33 – demonstrating their commitment to succeed
- Retention and graduation rate remained impressive at 83%
The 2017 Jingle Mingle was sponsored by Erstine Holdings, First National Bank of NWA and Barn at the Springs.
Guests jingled the night away to holiday classics played by the Ben Harris Jazz Quartet. Hors d’oeuvres were curated by The Event Group, and the dessert station featured a special roast-your-own smores station. The bar, sponsored by Wedington Liquor and Core Brewery, provided a signature cocktail — the cranberry Saint Nickarita. University of Arkansas men of Kappa Sigma Fraternity volunteered their time as parking attendants.
At the conclusion of the very successful night, more than $20,000 was raised to help create better, brighter futures for families through higher education.
Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas is grateful for the generous support it receives from individuals in our community. As stewards of these resources, we utilize contributions to fund scholarships, which is at the heart of our mission.
Administrative costs such as staff salaries are covered thanks to a very generous grant from a private foundation. That means that YOUR gift goes directly to support scholarships and student programs.
We invite you to give the GIFT of EDUCATION. To donate, please click here.
Posted by Christina Meeks on Thursday, December 14th, 2017 @ 10:25PM
Categories: Holiday, Jingle Mingle, Latest News, Meet a Recipient
Tags: #BetterBrighterNWA, Jingle Mingle, Meet a Recipient, North Arkansas College, Scholarships for single moms, University of Arkansas