For Kelly Bolton, a cashier at Muralt’s Travel Plaza, her connection with the location started when she was buying a meal.
“I was there every day to meet my carpool for school and it was my breakfast place every morning. I got to know the cashiers and everybody who works there,” she said, adding that she moved to Montana from Alaska to be closer to her daughter and grandchild.
She became a part-time employee in February 2016 while continuing her studies in the forestry program at Salish Kootenai College. When she saw a notice about the Bill Moon Scholarship Program that was attached to her paycheck, she considered applying but was nervous.
“I thought, ‘There are hundreds of truckstops. What are my chances?’ I hemmed and hawed and finally decided to try it,” Bolton said. “When I got the email that I won, I started screaming. I was crying and I was so ecstatic,” she said.
With the extra support from the Bill Moon Scholarship, Bolton is able to add extra classes to her current course load, which will help her finish school earlier.
Bolton is one of five students to receive a $5,000 Bill Moon Scholarship from The NATSO Foundation. Like Bolton, the other recipients were grateful for the support.
“I cannot begin to put into words how grateful I am for this scholarship and the opportunities that it has made available to me,” said Daryll Carlson, a repeat winner of the award.
Carlson is entering her senior year at Stanford University, majoring in marine biology. Her father is the maintenance manager at Sacramento 49er Travel Plaza.
“My past three years at Stanford University have been truly incredible. I have learned so much, discovered new passions, made connections with inspiring faculty, and have friends and memories that will last far after I graduate,” Carlson said. “This scholarship will allow me to fund my fourth and final year at Stanford and to graduate in the spring of 2017 with a degree in marine biology.”
Rebecca Sistad, a scholarship recipient, said she is appreciative of those who support the Bill Moon Scholarship program. “The funding this program provides opens up numerous opportunities and unburdens deserving, educating-seeking individuals in order to continue their endeavors,” she said.
Sistad has worked at Coffee Cup Fuel Stop in Burbank, South Dakota, for two years. “This job not only connected me with great friends in the area, but provided an income during my undergraduate career
I recently completed at USD,” she said, adding that she is in first year of the clinical psychology doctoral program at the University of South Dakota.
Carianne Jones, a scholarship winner and an employee at TravelCenters of America #241 in DeMotte, Indiana, said the Bill Moon Scholarship program is an opportunity to spotlight some of the amazing people that are in the truckstop and travel plaza industry.
Jones is attending Purdue University Northwest as a first-year graduate student and is working on her Masters of Accountancy degree and a graduate certificate in forensic accounting and fraud investigation.
“This scholarship means a lot to me. I have been independently responsible for the costs of my education since my undergraduate degree, and this scholarship relieves a huge financial burden for me,” Jones said.
The fifth scholarship was presented to Leianna McIntire, an employee at TravelCenters of America #022 in Willington, Connecticut. She is attending the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut.
Truckstop and travel plaza employees and their families can apply now for the 2017 Bill Moon Scholarship. Applications are available at www.natso.com/natsofoundation/billmoonscholarship. The deadline is May 15, 2017.
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