Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Praisner family launches scholarship

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The late Marilyn J. Praisner understood how important it is for a woman to have an education, but she also knew that paying for it can be difficult, said her widow, County Councilman Donald Praisner.

The first woman in her family to go to college, Praisner, a County Councilwoman who died in office Feb. 1, was pressured by relatives to get a job to support her family instead of pursuing an education. But, thanks to various scholarships, she was able to attend and graduate from Douglass College, Rutgers University, in New Jersey, which offers a scholarship in her mother's name.

To honor Marilyn Praisner and her commitment to education, the Praisner family has started a scholarship in her name at Montgomery College.

The $650 endowed scholarship was started with a $10,000 collective donation by the Praisner family, said Councilman Donald Praisner (D-Dist. 4) of Calverton, who was elected in the spring to fill Marilyn Praisner's council seat.

Starting this fall, the scholarship will be awarded to a full- or part-time female student with a demonstrated financial need who is either returning to school or is the first woman in her family to go to college.

"It will allow a woman hopefully to go back to school and complete her education," Donald Praisner said.

The Montgomery College Foundation, a charitable organization of alumni, business leaders and community leaders, will oversee the scholarship. Donna Pina, the interim executive director of the foundation, said she is thrilled to have Marilyn Praisner's name forever attached to the college.

"She believed in education, she was passionate about us and we felt she was a friend of the college," she said.

To contribute to the Marilyn J. Praisner Scholarship, call the foundation office at 240-567-7900. or visit www.montgomerycollege.edu/giving.