People sometimes ask about our name. Why are we called ANSWER Scholarship? And what’s with all those capital letters?
Our early days tell the story.
In 2005, Susan Andersen wanted to find a way to help a few moms go to college. She created a fund at Foundation For The Carolinas called The Andersen Nontraditional Scholarship for Women’s Education and Retraining or ANSWER for short.
ANSWER began the following year. Our beginnings were humble. Three people showed up for the organization’s first reception. But Andersen remembers her great joy at meeting the women who could now earn degrees, thanks to college scholarships from ANSWER.
Over time, Andersen realized moms needed more support to be able to stay in school full-time while working and taking care of their families. She added the Mentors For Mom program in 2010 and provided each ANSWER scholar with a volunteer mentor. ANSWER expanded further with professional development workshops on networking and other skills to help scholars develop satisfying careers.
Supporting Strong, Determined Women
ANSWER supports the college aspirations of strong, determined women, many of whom didn’t initially see themselves as the type of people who win scholarships. Women like Katrina Mitchell, whose mom was only 14 years old when she gave birth to Katrina.
Katrina’s mom had to drop out of high school to provide for her family. But Katrina did graduate from high school. With ANSWER by her side, she later earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from Belmont Abbey College and became a teacher.
Today, as an independent non-profit, ANSWER Scholarship has been the answer for more than 100 moms in our region to help advance their education and set an example their children will never forget. Some spouses and partners of ANSWER scholars have been motivated to earn college degrees as well. ANSWER builds economic mobility in Charlotte and beyond, one family at a time.