Paying it Forward - 2009 Profiles

Lesia Montgomery-Toms

Alumna - Puyallup, Washington

Lesia is a life-long learner. Her focus area may be in information technology, but she has obtained skills and knowledge far beyond her degree components. Through University of Phoenix she has earned her associate’s, bachelor’s, and is working on her master’s degree. She credits University of Phoenix with growing her analytical, communication, critical thinking, decision making, project management, problem-solving, and technical skills.

In her current position she wears many hats, including: developer, project manager, functional analyst, and configuration analyst. On top of this, she is also a mother to two daughters. Lesia would like to pay forward her education because she has experienced personal and professional success by earning her degrees. She has selected Shannon, her cousin and fellow single mom, for this scholarship.

Shannon Davis

Recipient - Tacoma, Washington

Shannon currently works as a Family Support Specialist for a local school district. Besides caring for families on her work time, she cares for a large extended family at home. She is raising two children and takes care of her autistic sister who lives with her. Shannon and Lesia want to change the value of education in their family. They are advocates for higher education and want to pass on the passion for learning to future generations. Out of 30 grandchildren and 60 great-grandchildren, approximately only 5 in their family have earned college degrees. They want to change this history. Shannon doesn’t want to just preach education, she wants to live it. With this scholarship she can change the trend and work toward an impressive goal.

Paying it Forward® logo

Alumni Nominator and Recipient Profiles

Learn how scholarships have empowered other students to achieve their educational goals. The more scholarships and grants you receive, the less you have to borrow to pay for school.


If you have additional questions regarding our scholarship opportunities, please contact