Dreams come true with full-tuition scholarship from Mount Mercy University

While other elementary students were dreaming of becoming all-star athletes, astronauts or pop sensations, Allison Heitman imagined herself as a college graduate. But as the time to choose a university came closer, she felt like her dream was just as overwhelming as her classmates’.

Growing up in Lone Tree—a small, rural town in Iowa—Allison knew she’d feel at home on a smaller campus. And while a private institution provided her with that atmosphere, she kept circling back to the same question: How would she afford a private education? She lived in a single-parent household with two siblings who also needed help paying for school. Before long, her dream seemed impossible.

But then she received a Catherine McAuley Scholarship from Mount Mercy University and everything changed.

Established in early 2014, the Catherine McAuley Scholarship provides full tuition for high-achieving students whose annual family income is less than $45,000.

“When I learned that my scholarship was made possible because of generosity from alumni, parents and friends, I couldn’t stop jumping up and down,” Allison said. “I vowed then to do my best at MMU. Not just for me or my family, but also for the donors who invested in my success.”

Allison is entering her sophomore year as a health care administration and human resources major and is a work-study student for dining services during the school year. But her dedication to Mount Mercy doesn’t end when classes let out. She is spending the summer working on campus as a residential aide and with the facilities department. She also finds time to give back to the Catherine McAuley Scholarship program, working with other McAuley scholars throughout the year to help guide them through what can seem like a daunting process.

Now, Allison has a new dream.

“I can’t wait to have a healthcare degree in hand and help others achieve what they believe is impossible—exactly what my Mount Mercy education is doing for me.”

Allison was one of 23 students to receive the Catherine McAuley Scholarship during the 2014-2015 academic year. With continued participation from loyal supporters, Mount Mercy hopes to award more than 60 Catherine McAuley Scholarships in the 2015-2016 academic year.

Written by Rachel Lee, annual giving coordinator.