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Boys & Girls Clubs of America and University of Phoenix Recognize America's Most Inspirational Moms with Full-Tuition Scholarships

By University of Phoenix

After a nationwide search, five deserving moms are getting an opportunity to pursue their degrees

ATLANTA and PHOENIX, May 8, 2015 – Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and University of Phoenix, a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), have once again partnered to find and reward America’s most inspirational moms. In celebration of Mother’s Day, the two organizations have recognized five inspirational moms with full-tuition scholarships to help them earn either a bachelor’s or master’s degree from University of Phoenix.

Every child needs the support of a nurturing and devoted parent to help them succeed. Often, parents must put their own aspirations, like earning a degree, on hold as they commit their time and effort to other responsibilities. The Most Inspirational Moms program recognizes those mothers who have made such sacrifices and instead focused first on making a difference in the lives of their children, families and communities.

“Mother’s Day offers us a moment to reflect on all that our moms have done to support us, even if it meant foregoing their own goals and dreams,” said Kimberly Boyd, national vice president of Program, Training & Youth Development Services at BGCA. “We are honored to work with University of Phoenix to thank five exceptional moms for all they have done by opening the door for them to earn a college degree and pursue their career goals.”

“There are no better examples of hard work, leadership and perseverance than our mothers,” said Timothy P. Slottow, president of University of Phoenix. “I hope we use Mother’s Day to reflect on the examples they provide. We must find new ways to help reward hard-working mothers seeking career-relevant higher education. These scholarships were for that, and help provide access to a learning environment with flexible schedules and the ability to take courses online or at a local campus, ensuring moms can more easily combine their education with the demands of their everyday lives.”

This year’s Most Inspirational Moms include:

  • Angela Becker, Phoenix, Ariz. – Building on her career as a Special Needs Para-Educator, Becker will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education to become a teacher to further positively impact children in a classroom of her own.
  • Megan Cushman, Yuma, Ariz. – Dedicated to the care of others, including her five-year-old daughter, Cushman will finally pursue a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration to further her passion for the care of others in her community.
  • Amber Doland, Genoa City, Wis. – Currently a nurse raising her 4-year-old son, Doland will pursue her career-long dream to become a Nurse Practitioner through earning a Master of Science in Nursing.
  • Sonynia Nicholson Leonard, Nashville, N.C. – Dedicated to supporting the youth in her community as a Juvenile Court Counselor, Leonard will pursue a Master of Science in Security and Criminal Justice to further enhance her leadership skills and serve as an example to her daughter.
  • Robin Schmidt, Mansfield, Texas – After close to a decade of service to her community working for Boys & Girls Clubs of America and raising two children, Schmidt will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business to further enhance her leadership skills to grow and support the Clubs she serves.

Now in its third year, the Most Inspirational Moms program promotes a culture of family achievement and raises awareness about how University of Phoenix and Boys & Girls Clubs are creating great futures for parents and youth. The program builds on an ever-growing relationship between BGCA and University of Phoenix to provide education and skill-development opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders. For more information about all University of Phoenix scholarship opportunities, including scholarship requirements, visit

Apollo Education Group, parent company of University of Phoenix, is dedicated to being a good corporate citizen by serving communities and individuals across the country. Through its corporate social responsibility efforts, Apollo Education Group focuses on giving in the areas of education, workforce readiness and sustainability. To learn more about the impact of these efforts, please visit

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at and

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of  Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit