Paying it Forward - 2009 Profiles

Margaret Reddy

Alumna - Larkspur, Colorado

Educational success was engrained in Margaret from birth. She was the youngest of eight children and her family (including aunts and an uncle) sacrificed to send her and all of her siblings to a private Catholic school. Her mother died when she was 14, but the fondest memory of her mother is of her helping all of her children with homework every night. Her father died when she was 20, shortly before Margaret graduated from an AA program. She couldn’t afford to continue her education but finally in her late 30’s she negotiated tuition reimbursement from her employer and graduated from University of Phoenix with a 3.99 GPA. She went on to earn her MBA with a 4.0 GPA and is now researching doctoral programs through the University. She has taken on impressive responsibilities with her career including being the U.S. Liaison to the Winter Olympics at the SLC Winter Games in 2002. Margaret and her husband are also sending all five of their children to college.

Patty Lien

Recipient - Shoreview, Minnesota

Margaret calls her sister Patty the bedrock of their family and community. Patty has always wanted to be a teacher, and in fact she has been one to her own children. Several of her children suffered from dyslexia, but she worked with them through flashcards and lessons to help them excel as students. Patty has always loved to learn and has always regretted not being able to finish her education.

As a teenager Patty received a full scholarship to St. Benedicts in Minnesota, but gave up her scholarship when her father lost his primary job and needed her to return home to assist with family finances. Patty married in her 20’s and had five children. Three were born severely premature, leaving her and her husband with momentous medical bills. These bills, combined with the challenges of caring in her home for an uncle with Alzheimer’s disease, meant that Patty was never able to return to school. She and her husband have put their surviving four children through college and recognize the amazing value of education. Margaret believes that Patty would be a tremendous ambassador for the University, and knows that her goals, of teaching at-risk youth and acting as an advocate for their futures, will be an inspiration to others.

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