Camp Nathanael Scholarship Impacts

January 10, 2016

The Camp Nathanael Scholarship, initiated in 2007 through the generosity of a former camper, continues to financially assist southeastern Kentucky students as they pursue a college education and career goals. At SMMM, we are committed to meeting the spiritual needs of those we minister among but also recognize the value of having a role in their development as a complete person. One way in which we seek to have a part in that is to help make the goal of attending college a reality. With assistance from the Camp Nathanael Scholarship, students in this region, who might not have the means to do so, will have an opportunity to better themselves through higher education.

CN SCHOLARSHIP 1This scholarship, which is competitive and based on financial need, offers significant monetary assistance to students who demonstrate the aspiration and ability to achieve a degree in higher education. It is renewable for four years as students continue to meet scholarship requirements and is currently making it possible for six recipients to study at several universities in Kentucky. One of the students who recently benefited from the Camp Nathanael Scholarship is Katie Wooten from Knott County. In the following paragraphs, Katie expresses the impact the scholarship had on her life and how grateful she is for its help to complete her undergraduate degree.

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Even now, it is easy to remember the very first time I heard about Camp Nathanael. I went home immediately after school that day and bombarded my mother with pleading. “Can I please go?” I begged and begged.

That was luckily only the beginning of many summers spent on the beautiful grounds in Emmalena. It is where I met so many friends, gained quality role models, and most importantly, it is where I was saved and learned more about the love God has for us. In its own way, Camp Nathanael became my home away from home during those years, and I am so thankful to have discovered my camp family.

With that said, I am also extraordinarily thankful for the scholarship I was awarded by Camp Nathanael. When I was applying to college, my mother was fighting breast cancer. This put an extra strain on my family’s finances at the time, and I knew I had to find a way to pay for college myself. While I had my tuition paid through another scholarship, I still needed to find a way to live away from home, buy books, etc. Community college was not an option because it did not offer the major I needed to become a speech-language pathologist. With all things considered, I was at a standstill and did not know how to move further toward my dream.

This is where Camp Nathanael came in. With the help of the scholarship donors, I was able to support myself through my undergraduate career without working so many hours that it affected my education. With the scholarship and my on-campus job combined, I graduated in May 2015 from the University of Kentucky with my bachelor’s degree without any debt. To this day, I am still astonished at the generosity of strangers who did not even know me.

Now, I am currently in graduate school at the University of Kentucky to earn my Master’s in speech-language pathology. In the next five years or so, I plan to move back to southeastern Kentucky to work with adults in a hospital or skilled nursing facility setting. Each Monday morning, I am able to work with clients in our clinic, and I am reminded that I am in school for an amazing reason. I am incredibly blessed to have found my passion, and I know that my work both now and in the future is what I was led to do. Without the wonderful people who donated to the Camp Nathanael Scholarship, I am not sure I would be here today. For this, I am forever grateful.

-Katie Wooten