Working mom's juggling act earns scholarship Published July 21, 2008 By Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes 95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- For a 95th Force Support Squadron civilian, life as a working mom, a wife and a student is a juggling act. Cassandra Cole's daily routine includes doing early morning school work, attending to the children, working in the office, spending time with her family, preparing the children for bed times and doing more school work. On July 15, Mrs. Cole was one of 45 working mothers out of 50,000 applicants to earn a scholarship through Project Working Mom. Project Working Mom is an online program that helps establish resources for the working mother population. "I am happy I received the scholarship," said Mrs. Cole. "I couldn't be thankful enough. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." Mrs. Cole received a full scholarship, which will pay for her books, laboratory and tuition fees. "I learned about this program through my school's admissions counselor," Mrs. Cole said. "I wrote a 1,500-word essay about the importance of education; why achieving a degree is so important; what I want to do with it; how it's going to further my career; and the obstacles I've had to overcome." Mrs. Cole was enlisted in the Air Force from March 2002 until she separated in December 2004. She began going to school in January 2007. "I wondered how could I tell my two little ones how important education is if I, myself, was not going to school," she said. "Education is very, very important for me. My dad didn't go to college at all, while my mom took some classes but didn't finish. However, my parents pounded into my head the importance of education." Currently, the Houston native works as a human resources assistant. She is working on her Bachelor of Science degree in technical management with a minor in human resources through an online university. "She works very hard at what she does and always puts her best into everything," said Denise Proteau, 95th FSS human resources assistant. "She works well with others and always keeps a positive attitude. She does deserve this great honor." Mrs. Cole said she couldn't have balanced school, work and family without the help of her husband, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Cole, a 412th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron structural maintenance craftsman. "He is very supportive of me going to school," Mrs. Cole said. "When I told him I wanted to finish my associate's degree, he told me to go for it. Once I graduated with my associate's, he asked me when I will start getting my bachelor's." Sergeant Cole said he was happy that she received the scholarship. "I am really proud that she received it," Sergeant Cole said. "The best thing about it is that we don't have to spend money for her to get her bachelor's degree." Attaining a college degree is not as hard as it used to be, Mrs. Cole said. Working moms have various options available to them. "There is no excuse for not getting a degree," she said. "There are schools that offer online courses. It is not hard to do. Just try for it. Look for scholarship. You won't know if you're going to get it or not unless you try. I am so glad I did." For more information about Project Working Mom, visit http://www.elearners.com/projectworkingmom/.