Destiny Solutions

Destiny Solutions

September 23, 2010 09:44 ET

Two Women on a Mission

Two Single Mothers Facing Harsh Obstacles Are Recognized for Their Courageous Efforts

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 23, 2010) - It's hard going back to school as an adult learner, but if you're a single parent, if you're battling cancer, if you're working multiple jobs, if you've been laid off, or if you are trying to realize dreams you never thought possible, the challenges may seem insurmountable. Charlene Clay and Stephanie Taylor are two single moms who have been meeting those challenges head on, and making ground. Their load hopefully became a little lighter this week when they were awarded the Mary Cone Barrie Scholarship for lifelong learners.

Destiny Solutions, the leading provider of continuing education management software, announced today that Charlene Clay, who is attending Concordia University Wisconsin, in Mequon, Wisconsin, and Stephanie Taylor, who is enrolled at Buck's County Community College in Newtown, PA, have been awarded the Mary Cone Barrie Scholarship to help support their studies for the 2010-2011 academic year. The scholarship was established to recognize the efforts of extraordinary individuals who are improving their lives through continuing education and workforce development.

"If you keep moving forward, you'll have a life to look forward to," said Stephanie, near tears, about her current philosophy, how she has kept going since losing her job in May 2009 and being diagnosed with cancer the following December. A year, five surgeries, and a battery of chemotherapy and radiation treatments later, Stephanie feels back to normal and has a renewed sense of how important education is.

"I didn't miss a single class during all of this," said the 46-year-old single mother of two teenagers who, uncomplaining and ever-optimistic, takes care of her kids, manages cancer treatment, goes to school and cleans to make ends meet. "I never thought education was important growing up, but I was wrong. It makes us better. With education, we can continually reinvent ourselves until we're the best we can be. It's a privilege, and this scholarship is helping me get my life back together. One thing this [the Mary Cone Barrie] scholarship has reinforced in me is to never, ever, ever give up." Stephanie expects to finish her degree in business administration at Buck's County by the end of summer, 2011. The proceeds of the scholarship will make managing the costs of school and medication a little easier.

Charlene Clay was separated at an early age from her siblings and a mother battling drug and alcohol problems. Foster care and a series of abusive events followed, effectively stealing her hopes and dreams. Now, at 32, and a single mother of three, Charlene knows she has a chance to get those dreams back.

Charlene expects to complete her degree at Concordia this December, and is close to finishing a state-offered course in alcohol and drug counseling. She embraces her challenges, eagerly heading to school, volunteering at a treatment center and working as a customer service representative, all the while making sure her kids are safe and looked after. "Thankfully, they understand," she said. "I tell them 'hard work is great, but do you want to work THIS hard?' They won't have to work as hard as I have if they grow up with a support network and education."

Charlene's kids and her dreams keep her going. "My goal is to be able to treat young girls just like me," she said. "Girls whose moms and dads have alcohol problems. They don't have any hopes and dreams, or at least no one to tell them they can have some."

Education has always been important to Charlene. "It is the root of your life," she explained. "If you have education, you can go places. My message to other people? You can do it! Education is big. It's important. It just makes life easier."

"The Mary Cone Barrie Scholarship was established to recognize the efforts of extraordinary people who strive to improve their lives through continuing education," said Shaul Kuper, President and CEO of Destiny Solutions. "All of this year's applicants had compelling tales to tell, however our selection committee was struck by these two inspirational and triumphant stories. I can't adequately express how happy I am that we are able to help Stephanie and Charlene with their lifelong learning goals."

About the Mary Cone Barrie Scholarship

The Mary Cone Barrie Scholarship is an annual prize awarded by Destiny Solutions each fall. It was launched as a tribute to a trusted friend and mentor, Dr. Mary Cone Barrie (1945-2009), the person who inspired us to do great things. She was the Director of the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto and remains known for her attentiveness to student needs and a devotion to her instructors and staff.

The scholarship was established to recognize the efforts of learners who are improving their lives through continuing education and workforce development.

For more information, please visit

About Destiny Solutions

Destiny Solutions develops software to forge, manage and cultivate lifelong learning relationships.

Destiny OneCE™ is an education management platform that extends campus systems to empower and engage continuing education and workforce development.

Our customers are leaders in continuing education and workforce development. To learn more about them, please visit us at

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