Wednesday, April 25, 2018

the reject?

"Well, I am kinda wondering...", she politely began, "what's missing?  Is there something more I need to do or have?  Do you know why the other chapter chose not to select me?"

"PFFFTT", I responded cordially, "Beats me, I was actually wondering the same thing when I looked over your documentation:  'this is the one they DIDN'T pick?!?'"

I continued, "For all I know, they flipped a coin".

Y'all know I'm active in P.E.O., a charitable organization that helps women continue their education through scholarships, grants, loans, a college we own...  One of our scholarships is for high school seniors planning to attend college, starting the year following HS graduation.  It's merit based and highly competitive.  The girls who receive it are really exceptional.  In order to apply, a candidate must be sponsored by a P.E.O. chapter.

Because of the high standards, it can be difficult to find suitable candidates.  A few months ago, I got an email from the president of another local chapter.  They strangely had two strong candidates wishing to try for the STAR (that's the name of the scholarship), but a chapter can only sponsor one candidate at a time.  She was asking other local presidents if anyone wanted to work with their "reject" (not her term) - the one they didn't choose to sponsor.  The due date for the application was fast approaching.

I saw some other presidents had already responded, rather lazily..."Oh okay, I'll pass it on to my scholarship committee, blah, blah, blah", and I was all, "DUDES!  the deadline to get all the sh*t in is next week!"  Well, I only said that in my mind.   My actual reply was,

"Send me what you've got!"

And that's how I met Holly.

P.E.O. is more than just a source of cash.  What sets us apart from other financial aid is how we connect with our recipients, which is why applicants can't just submit some application and cross their fingers.  We get to know them first and vice-versa, and then decide whether to sponsor. We keep up correspondence with them during their studies and beyond, etc.  Many eventually join P.E.O. themselves.

So Holly and I got together and I learned that she was not only an academic powerhouse and community leader, but also a nice and mature young woman with a pleasant, unpretentious personality.  Might she be interested in marrying one my sons?

As we wrapped up our get-to-know-you, she asked the question above, and I gave her my honest response.  I saw nothing lacking in her credentials.

In a whirlwind of activity, the chapter voted (unanimously) to sponsor Holly, I submitted a lengthy letter of recommendation, Holly submitted a lengthy application and essay.   It all went to the international STAR selection board, and we waited. And waited.  For nearly five months until they would announce the recipients.

Tuesday morning, I received an email.  It started:

"Dear Abby and members of Chapter EA (that's us)..."

The next word was "Congratulations..."

I still don't know why the other chapter didn't choose to sponsor Holly.  Maybe they really did flip a coin...

...and we won the toss! 😀

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
2. Write about something that brought you joy today.


Morgan C said...

Yay! Great news for Holly! And awesome job jumping on the sponsorship!

Abby said...

Thanks, I'm so excited for her, such a great kid. I was literally jumping for joy and love that we were able to swing it

ShadowRun300 said...

It all sounds like it was meant to be! How lucky for the both of you. And yes! Introduce her to a son or two... :)

Abby said...

"meant to be", yes I think. A mom can try, but I think she mainly needed my help with the scholarship :P

KatBouska said...

Wow! What an amazing thing to be a part of. Holly is lucky she happened to have you to go to bat for her!

Abby said...

I'm thrilled for Holly. Yes, it's very rewarding.