Winner of 2015 LaMantia Law Firm Single Parent Scholarship

We are proud to announce that the winner of the 2015 LaMantia Law Firm Single Parent Scholarship is Catherine Bradley Burris.

As the child of a single mother, Catherine personally observed the struggles and hardships her mother endured to raise her. Catherine is a biomedical major who applied for this scholarship because she did not want to fully depend on her mother to make her dreams come true.

Catherine-BurrisCatherine has long wanted to be an attorney since she has a fondness for the law and loves its subtle intricacies and nuances. However, the high cost of education was a roadblock in Catherine’s path, as it is for so many other Americans today.

While attending the College of Charleston, Catherine grew to appreciate the financial realities of her situation more than ever. The financial cost of attending the school is expensive, leaving her family and herself limited in the resources available at their disposal. The education Catherine has received has been invaluable, but is impossible to escape from the financial realities of life.

Catherine observed how difficult it has been for her mother to take care of the household, raise her children well and hold down a good job all at the same time. Given that the student debt crisis continues to rise to historic levels, it is difficult to imagine how much Catherine’s mother sacrificed to provide for the family and make ends meet.

Catherine’s story, then, is also a story of her mother’s courage, selflessness and perseverance. Catherine’s father is not in the family’s life at all, leaving the burden for provision on Catherine and her mother alone. Throughout the years, Catherine’s mother lovingly sacrificed her time, her hours and her finances to provide for Catherine, scraping by with just enough.

These sacrifices and difficulties have made a lasting impression on Catherine, which is why she is fully committed to making her dreams come true by receiving scholarship money to pay for her tuition. While most students would love to receive a scholarship for purely self-centered reasons — after all, who wouldn’t want to reduce their debt in the current student loan landscape? — since she is primarily focused on giving back to the woman who has already given her so much.

Catherine wants to be less dependent on her mother to fulfill her academic and professional goals by attending college on a scholarship. Other family members solidified Catherine’s thinking on the matter. Her cousin — who Catherine cites as a major influence in her life due to his courage, strength and enthusiasm — worked long hours to pay back his loans. Her cousin told Catherine that if he could change one thing about his life, he would go back in time and “earn some money for college”.

After Catherine saw the stress her cousin faced and the struggles of her mother to provide for a single parent family, Catherine was determined to reduce the stress on herself and her family. These thought processes were the driving force behind Catherine’s scholarship application.

Additionally, Catherine noted that the scholarship will help her focus more easily in her classes since much of the financial pressure will be taken off her family and herself. Catherine has chosen her educational path, but it will have many financial hurdles and roadblocks to clear before she fulfills her career goals.

After viewing her application, we firmly believe that Catherine will achieve those goals and become the living legacy of her mother’s hard work and sacrifice as a single parent. When focusing on single parenting, it is all too easy to focus on the struggles of the parent without focusing on why the parent chose those struggles in the first place.

Single parents work tirelessly and sacrifice constantly with the hope that their child goes on to achieve something lasting, meaningful and impactful. We know that Catherine has the potential to achieve all of this and more given the chance, which is why our law firm is proud to award her with the 2015 LaMantia Law Firm Single Parent Scholarship.

Congratulations Catherine!