Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Praisner family launches yearly scholarship

Montgomery College scholarship for women honors late County Councilwoman's commitment to education

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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.

Tuition at Montgomery College ranges from $163 for one credit hour for county residents to $267 a credit hour for state residents. The maximum, 20 credit hours, is $2,656 for county residents and $5,152 for state residents.

To contribute to the Marilyn J. Praisner Scholarship fund or to donate in general to the Montgomery College Foundation, call the foundation office at 240-567-7900 or visit