Mother and Caregiver Receives CTU’s Wounded Warrior Scholarship
When Deborah Fletcher’s daughter was injured in a vehicular accident in the military as a Marine, Fletcher dropped everything to become a full-time caregiver. She quit her job in the catering field and focused on helping her daughter adapt to the mental and physical challenges that lay ahead. Little did Fletcher know that this experience would lead to a new direction in her own life—as a student at Colorado Technical University.
After spending 18 months with her daughter at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Fletcher didn’t know what to do next. “I had done the same thing since 1975,” Fletcher said. “What was I going to do now?” Then she heard about CTU’s Wounded Warrior Scholarship.
Caregivers Encouraged to Apply
“It was right after I left Walter Reed that I heard about the scholarship,” said Fletcher. “Someone I knew at the Yellow Ribbon Fund told me to apply for it.” Although Fletcher wasn’t sure if she was eligible for the scholarship, she ultimately decided to apply anyway. Because caregivers play such an important part in the life of a wounded soldier, and inspired by Deborah’s story, CTU expanded the Wounded Warrior Scholarship for the 2016 scholarship year to include caregivers. “Taking care of an injured soldier is a physical and mental challenge for caregivers,” Fletcher said. “It’s a 24/7 job.”
CTU’s Wounded Warrior Scholarship gives caregivers a chance to do something for themselves – pursue their education goals - amidst the challenges of taking care of an injured service member.
When CTU called to tell Fletcher she had been selected for the scholarship, most of her family was with her and she was able to share the news immediately. She hung up the phone, turned to them and said, “You won’t believe what just happened.”
“I was tickled to death,” Fletcher said. “Of course, I was also instantly filled with anxiety about going back to school, but then I felt so proud of myself.”
For Fletcher, and other caregivers like her, CTU is honored to offer a higher education experience that fits their lifestyle—one that’s convenient and easily accessible. Scholarship recipients can attend class either on a campus in Colorado or online. The scholarship covers tuition, a new laptop, and any books or materials fees. By enrolling in an online degree program, students have more flexibility and can better fit school into their everyday schedule.
Setting the Stage for Other Caregivers
Fletcher was officially awarded the scholarship at a ceremony in November 2014 and started her first CTU class toward an Associate of Science in Business Administration in January 2015. “I feel like I blazed the way for future caregivers to apply for the scholarship,” said Fletcher.
Even though her daughter’s injuries have drastically changed both of their lives, Fletcher said she thinks that “everything happens for a reason” and “that something good has to come out of the bad.”
Fletcher expects to complete her degree in 2017 and says she might continue her studies after that. “I’m thinking I might be able to go further,” she said. She’s considering a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from CTU and can apply for another Wounded Warrior Scholarship if she chooses to do so.
CTU is proud to provide education for the caregivers of those who serve. Learn more about CTU's Wounded Warrior Scholarship.