It’s never too late to go back to school

Pollock familyTrico scholarship helps grandmother pursue higher education

Brenda Pollock is not your typical college student. The 52-year-old grandmother is currently taking online classes through Cochise College while working full time. She is a U.S. Air Force veteran who served six years.

After her military career, she continued to work as a medic and nurse. Her husband Ron was active duty in the Air Force and deployed a lot. So, she wanted to wait until her children were older to further her education.

With her children grown – her daughter Nichele just finished her Masters Degree and her son, Ryan, is a freshman at Pima Community College – Brenda decided to go back to school to get her Associate’s Degree in Business Management. However, since it has been more than 10 years since she was in the military, she didn’t qualify for help in paying for school. So, she could only afford to take one class at a time.

All that changed last May when she was awarded a Trico Foundation scholarship. At the time, Ryan was applying for a Trico scholarship. Brenda didn’t know that she also qualified for a scholarship. Both were awarded scholarships for the 2018-19 school year. Now she is able to take four classes, so she can finish her degree sooner.

“My schedule is full,” Brenda said. “I work full time, have a college student at home, a husband and I am a grandma. I pride myself on time organization and this is how I can manage to get it all done. I plan my week ahead according to what is due that week and I do not look too far ahead. Online classes are much easier to manage for a working student. I can’t thank Trico enough for making this possible.”

Ryan overcame a learning disability and maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school at Andrada Polytechnic. He is taking classes at Pima Community College and was on the football team in the fall. He is working on getting an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science.

“Ryan has done well so far,” Brenda said. “He is expected to get all A’s this semester. He has learned to fit football into his schedule. His typical day is to wake up at 4 a.m., head to the football gym for his morning workout, and then to class. Football practice was from 3 p.m. to 6 or 7. Then, he came home to complete homework. He did plan his classes to allow breaks throughout the day to complete homework assignments in between classes or prior to football practice. On Fridays, he only had football and used the rest of the day to study. Saturdays he had games, and several were away games with long travel times.”

Need money for college?

Each year, the Trico Foundation awards scholarships to Trico Members and their dependents. Beginning in February, Trico will be accepting applications for the 2019-20 academic year. For more information, visit our Scholarship page.