SMWC and Catholic Charities award scholarship

June 5th, 2013 | SMWC

(l) Jordyn Perrot, Amber Maness and John Etling

Amber Maness, recent graduate from Terre Haute North High School, plans to pursue her college degree thanks to the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College/Catholic Charities Terre Haute Scholarship. 

Established in 2011, the scholarship is designed to help clients of Catholic Charities, who might not otherwise have the opportunity to further their education, to earn a degree at Saint Mary-of-the Woods College (SMWC).

Maness faced family challenges through a series of moves that resulted in her living with her grandparents. “Even though there are several negative things that have occurred in my life, I try to focus on the good things,” she explained. “By doing community service at the Catholic Charities, I have seen people that are much less fortunate than me. I have a family that loves me and would do anything they could to help me. So, I am thankful for the things that I do have.” 

John Etling, agency director of Catholic Charities Terre Haute is pleased that Amber is the recipient of the scholarship.  “Amber has worked hard during her high school years to excel in the classroom. I think it is safe to say that most young people these days are going to encounter some adversity in their lives and this is certainly the case here. From our perspective, Amber has handled this with maturity and grace. She has provided productive volunteer hours to our Bethany House program.  She is keenly aware that her behavior provides an opportunity to be a role model to her younger sister and other young people in our community. This is further evident by her choosing to work towards a degree in social work. I hope the entire community will join us as we hold Amber in our prayers for a successful college experience.”

Selection of the scholarship award recipient is based on the recommendation of the Catholic Charities Scholarship Committee.  The award is a full-tuition scholarship each year for enrollment in the campus, online or graduate programs. The applicant must meet all SMWC admission requirements. Depending upon the program, the value of the scholarship may be up to $110,000. The committee selected Maness based on her written essay and application, a letter of recommendation and an interview.  

Amanda Springstead, associate director of admission at SMWC said, “Amber has shown that she is a strong community leader with a big future. She displays the drive and a commitment to education, which makes her a good candidate for this scholarship.” 

Maness plans to use her family challenges to helps others by majoring in human services in the fall of 2013.  She adds, “When I see people that need help, it reminds me why it is important for me to further my education by going to college. Also it reminds me why I want to be a social worker. I would like the opportunity to help people like me, and I believe that I would understand people’s situations better than most.” 

For more information, visit or call Catholic Charities at (812) 232-1447. To make a gift to this scholarship, contact Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College at (812) 535-5225.

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