Patty dreamed of a career in fashion since childhood. As the youngest of six children, she and her sister creatively mixed and matched their shared wardrobe into stylish outfits and dressed their dolls in their mother’s hand-embroidered cloths. Patty’s parents worked multiple jobs, always encouraging their children to do well in school. “My mother always apologized for missing so many school-related events,” she remembers. “I told her not to worry because when I grew up, I was going to make a lot of money and help take care of our family.”
In high school, Patty faced setbacks. “I was on track to graduate,” she remembers, “but I started hanging out with the wrong crowd. I was feeling lost in life, and I didn’t think college was for me – but I did want my G.E.D., and I made sure to complete it.”
When a car accident served as a wake-up call, Patty made the decision to turn her life around. “Even in my darkest moments, my loved ones saw me as a winner,” she says. “I could hear my mother’s voice saying, ‘No one and nothing can defeat you but yourself.’”
My life changed when I got my scholarship letter. All I had ever experienced seemed insignificant compared to receiving this award. Not only did I need the money to pay for school, but I also needed to know that other women trusted me to uphold the values of WWIN.”
Patty put in the work to earn her Associate degree, then she found the college program of her dreams: Textiles, Apparel, and Merchandising at Central Washington University (CWU). “I knew I couldn’t afford to move there,” she says, “so I would have to commute 90 minutes each way, and I’d have to work my way through school.”
Receiving the WWIN Star Scholarship not only helped relieve Patty’s financial burden but also gave her a renewed sense of confidence and purpose. “My life changed when I got my scholarship letter. All I had ever experienced seemed insignificant compared to receiving this award. Not only did I need the money to pay for school, but I also needed to know that other women trusted me to uphold the values of WWIN.”
As a WWIN Star Scholar, Patty thrived at CWU. She earned her Bachelor’s degree and a coveted internship, then a job, at Nordstrom in San Diego. But a fashion career was not Patty’s only dream. Her ultimate goal is to be a business owner and create employment and career opportunities in her community. She returned home to Wenatchee and today is a restaurant general manager. She is hiring and training others and gaining business management skills. “Thanks to WWIN, I’m still on the path to realizing my larger aspirations,” she says.
Several years from graduation, Patty feels the ongoing benefits of being a Star Scholar alum. “WWIN has a never-ending, genuine concern for your achievement,” she says. “It’s a network of women who work together to reach our full potential. Together, we don’t let challenges define us – instead, we demonstrate to the world what we are made of. I am beyond grateful and would not be where I am today without my Star Scholarship. Thank you, WWIN, for changing my life so I can make a difference for others.”