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Pamela Olson

"I will affect lives and families of people with chronic illness and will make lasting change in our society. "

I’ve been using student loans to cover my  costs, but this semester I had to spend much of it on medical expenses. Scholarships  permit me to have more time to pursue my academic dreams.

Pamela is a student returning to college. Many years ago, she graduated from high school with a 4.6 grade point average, but when she went to college, she couldn’t seem to stay awake in her classes and didn’t know why. She gave up on college and spent several years going to doctors trying to find out what was wrong.

After 12 years of being mostly bedridden, she found the right medical help and her life slowly started to come back. Gradually, she was able to start working part time in the healthcare industry and decided to become a doctor,  to help bring people back from chronic illness.

Eventually, Pamela started as a part time student at Paradise Valley Community College. Shortly afterwards, she had genetic testing done and discovered she had 2 genetic mutations, which lined up with the problems that plagued her entire life.   Unfortunately, prior to a doctor’s appointment to obtain help with the mutations, she ended up getting ill from viruses and missed two weeks of work.

Bills from the doctors, medications, and lost work used up the student loan money she had for the whole semester. Pamela reached out for help from Emergency Funds for her utility bills, food and gas to get to school.

The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation established Emergency Funds to help students like Pamela, in need all across the District, so that they can focus on their education and not their financial situation.

Paradise Valley Community College, Student Emergency Fund