Scholarship surpises mother of 10

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    By Aubrey Prince

    Life has become a little less stressful for one BYU student.

    Mary Ann Clawson, a junior majoring in sociology, has been awarded a one-year, full tuition scholarship from Zions Bank.

    According to the Scholarship Office, this is the first year Zions Bank has offered this scholarship, which was designed to help an exceptional student in serious financial need.

    And Clawson is nothing short of exceptional, according to the Scholarship Office.

    Clawson attended BYU as a freshman years ago, but dropped out early in her sophomore year when she got married.

    Clawson said she and her husband”s life together took them to northern California.

    She said they were the proud parents of ten children when her worst nightmare came true. Policemen were sent to her door to inform her that her husband had been hit by a truck and killed on his way to work.

    “I decided that God must really have faith in me to leave me with such an overwhelming task,” she said.

    Determined to keep her family together, Clawson said she moved her nine unmarried children to Provo and decided to enroll for Fall Semester 2000.

    “I didn”t just apply-I literally begged BYU to let me come,” Clawson said.

    Only a week after sending in her application, Clawson said she received a letter of admittance to BYU.

    Clawson said things were difficult at first. She started class while recovering from three major surgeries she had undergone during the past year.

    “I remember sitting there and feeling I need to do this,” she said. “Something inside me wouldn”t let me stop.”

    Today Clawson says she is a serious student at BYU.

    “When I was a freshman it was all about having fun,” she said. “Now my priorities are different. I don”t have that extra time to play or procrastinate. Timing is everything.”

    Because of changes in curriculum over the years, Clawson said she is retaking several general education courses. She said she is struggling through them, but really enjoys her sociology classes.

    “I love my major because its what I would be doing anyway,” she said. “I would be doing this type of work anyway, so I might as well major in it.”

    Clawson said everything about her life has changed and she is blessed everyday with small miracles, including this scholarship.

    She said she didn”t apply for this scholarship. She received a letter in the mail congratulating her on receiving a scholarship from Zions Bank that would pay for a full year of tuition as well as cover the expenses of books.

    “I am deeply grateful to Zions for this scholarship,” she said. “I”m not the exception at BYU. Many students are in difficult situations, but I really feel like someone saw us.”

    Zions is committed to education and is proud to be able to help students in need, said Rock Boulter, manager of Zions Bank”s University Expressive office.

    “The scholarship allows us to show our support for inspirational students like Mary Ann who balance schoolwork with raising a family,” Boulter said.

    Clawson said her children are completely supportive of her return to school and said her family will always be her first priority.

    “This scholarship means so much to us,” she said. “I say us because when you help a parent survive, you help the entire family.”

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