Friday, April 13, 2012
By Kari Eakins Laramie Live




Susan Thomas Visits Scholarship Recipients in Laramie

“We don’t just give money and say, ‘good luck, call if you need me,’” remarked Susan Thomas on her visit to Laramie to mentor recipients of scholarships from the Craig and Susan Thomas Foundation. The scholarship program is unique, because Susan Thomas personally mentors each student that receives a scholarship from the Foundation.

“I’m a teacher, I’ve never done a business. I teach and I work with young people. That’s what I do best,” said Thomas as she stopped in Laramie to visit with four scholarship recipients, two of which attend the University of Wyoming and two that attend Laramie County Community College at the Albany County Campus. “We are successful because we are side by side with these young people going through school. I talk to advisers, I talk to teachers, whatever we need. That’s what we’ve learned… It’s been a great experience.”

In its fifth year of operation, the Foundation has expanded to award 14 scholarships per semester in addition to annually honoring an adult with the Leadership Award and offering grants to organizations and groups that support the Foundation’s goals. Thomas said there is a need in Wyoming which has provided an opportunity for them to step in as a positive role model to help them make the connection to post-secondary education.

“At risk is anything to me. It can be financial, it can be young people who have really struggled with school, with social things, they may have been in trouble with the law, all kinds of issues,” commented Thomas. “I just think that we are here to help those young people who have struggled.”

In her 36 years of experience in the classroom, Thomas has been fortunate to witness many moments when a student, or learner, turns the corner in their education, ”You can really see when the light turns on in their eyes because they know they have value. They need to know they are worth something and when they see that and believe that, the whole world is their oyster.”

For more on the Craig and Susan Thomas Foundation visit their website or listen below to Susan Thomas’ interview on Laramie Live.

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