Caldwell Uses Personal Experience to Influence Community
Ethnic Minority Scholarship recipient Courtney Caldwell grew up in a single-parent home in Houston. Courtney was always surrounded by a “village” of loving family, friends and mentors. Her mother, a high school teacher for more than 30 years, taught her the life skills she would need to prepare for the real world. Courtney took these lessons with her throughout her academic years and into her professional career.
Courtney’s mother made sure her daughter was active in ministries of the congregation at First Methodist Houston. “Everyone, including my church family, has been nothing but supportive of my studies, career and future goals,” Courtney said. “There have been several times when I felt like giving up, and I constantly had prayer warriors. What amazes me about my church and, furthermore, God’s love, is that no matter how many times you fall short, they never give up on you. My life experiences have humbled me, and I have utilized many opportunities to help others as people have helped me.”
A church member, who saw Courtney’s active ministry in the congregation, encouraged the young woman to apply for the Ethnic Minority Scholarship. “I was hesitant at first,” Courtney admitted, “but then I gave it a try anyway. My faith endured, and I received notification that I was a scholarship recipient. That was a great feeling!”
“The scholarship has changed my life in several ways.” It helped Courtney earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. While in school, Courtney traveled to Berlin, where she visited various companies and learned about global economics and other facets of the country’s rich history.
While attending the University of Houston, she continued to be active in ministries and was a children’s Sunday school teacher. “It was a great feeling to be a part of children’s lives as they develop a relationship with Christ. I watched them grow from diapers to now grade school, and they are able to grasps concepts better and even offer their own interpretation of the word.”
Serving Christ, Community
Courtney also participated in a fast-paced academic program that helped her reach her career goal in accounting. “I was accepted to the KPMG Fast Forward Leadership Program in Hollywood, Ernst and Young Emerging Leaders Summit in Washington and the American Institute of CPAs Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,” she said.
“All of these activities helped me to learn more about the profession, network with current/future leaders and gain access to resources for my goals. Now that I have graduated, I work full-time while studying to become a certified public accountant.”
Courtney encourages United Methodists to support the World Communion Sunday offering to help students reach their full potential without some of the financial burdens of higher education. “Receiving a scholarship from The United Methodist Church is a rewarding feeling to those who are diligent in God’s work,” she said.
Courtney’s lifelong goal is to become the CEO of a non-profit foundation advocating domestic abuse issues. I will use my faith in God by following His direction and letting him work through me to impact my community.”
Courtney is making a difference in the world by using her God-given talents to help others. She has participated in numerous community activities such as tutorial programs, mission trips, church ministries and community organizations. “I love to help others,” she said.
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, World Communion Sunday calls the church to reach out to all people and model diversity among God’s children. The special offering provides World Communion Scholarships, the Ethnic Scholarship Program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program.
When you give generously on World Communion Sunday, you equip gifted, qualified students from around the globe to become the world changers God created them to be. Give now
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