Single moms educational path eases, thanks to donation to UBTech

Submitted by UBTech

Shannon Woodward, a trustee representing the Stella H. Oaks Foundation and vice president of Development, signs an agreement with UBTech President Aaron K. Weight to donate $75,000 to the college. The scholarship will fund tuition and other educational expenses for single mothers over a 5-year period.

The Stella H. Oaks Foundation joins Uintah Basin Technical College to offer a scholarship that will assist single mothers with a variety of expenses to help them obtain an education.

The foundation’s purpose is to bring hope to single mothers through education. Their mission is to lift single mothers and their children out of poverty, through education.

Foundation officials were particularly pleased to discover that Allred’s Landscaping and Construction has an established UBTech scholarship specifically for single mothers and wanted to further support the cause.

The Stella H. Oaks Foundation will be donating a total of $75,000 to the UBTech Foundation. The funding will be allocated at $15,000 per year for 5 years to carry out their mission.

To qualify for this scholarship, a single mother must have children under age 18 living with her in the home and be enrolled in one of UBTech’s educational programs.

Training for career fields include business, trades, medical and energy services. UBTech has over 30 programs to choose from including (but not limited to): welding, culinary arts, nursing, information technology, civil drafting technician, CDL truck driving, POST satellite academy, and many more.

The scholarship includes assistance with the cost of tuition, books and supplies but also goes beyond the typical classroom needs to cover day care and other eligible financial obligations, to help a single mother pursue her education.

From left to right: UBTech President Aaron K. Weight, along with Stella H. Oaks Foundation Vice President of Development Shannon Woodward and UBTech Vice President of Instruction Tammy Wilkerson, celebrate UBTech’s new partnership with the Oaks Foundation and their donation earmarked to aid single mothers.

“We are pleased to partner with UBTech and offer this scholarship to local single mothers,” said Shannon Woodward, a foundation trustee who is also a single mother.

Even though the foundation’s headquarters are located in Kaysville, Stella H. Oaks has ties to the Uintah Basin, Woodward said.
Oaks was a single mother who raised three children. She was a teacher in the early 1940s in Vernal.

“This is a very meaningful partnership,” said UBTech President, Aaron K. Weight. “This scholarship removes financial hurdles for single mothers and makes it possible for them to attend UBTech. A program certificate provides employment opportunities and increased earning potential in all career fields. We’re pleased that the Stella H. Oaks Foundation sees the quality of education and training at UBTech and has chosen us to help fulfill their mission.”

Interested applicants are encouraged to start the enrollment process to apply for this scholarship. Call 435.722.6900 to make an appointment with a student success officer at a UBTech campus near you.

About Stella H. Oaks
Stella H. Oaks was an exemplary single mother who overcame great challenges, raised remarkable children and became a leader in the community. Stella Harris was born July 26, 1906 and raised in a farmhouse near Payson, Utah that did not have running water and indoor plumbing.
Stella attended Brigham Young University where she met and fell in love with Lloyd E. Oaks of Vernal, Utah. Stella and Lloyd married in 1929.
Ten years after completing his degree, Dr. Lloyd E. Oaks died in June 1940, leaving Stella a widow with three young children: Dallin, 7, Merrill, 4, and Evelyn, 1. She moved the family from Twin Falls, Idaho where her husband had a thriving medical practice (eye, ear, nose, and throat), to her parent’s home in Payson, Utah. All she had sacrificed and worked for seemed gone. Her world was shattered.

After trying to attend college in New York away from her children, she couldn’t do it emotionally and returned to her children. Stella moved and began a teaching job in Vernal, Utah, living independently with her children.

In 1948 she moved to Provo, Utah. After her three children were raised, she was elected to the Provo City Council and served a term as Assistant Mayor.

A long-time newspaper friend described her: “Stella Harris Oaks is the eternal optimist. She could never see the gloomy side of anything. It used to irritate me now and then. Impractical, too idealistic, too Pollyanna, I would think. But I came to realize she was, indeed, practical – and that her idealism enabled her to achieve many things she would not otherwise have tackled.” (Theron H. Luke, “Some Flowers for the Living – Stella Oaks,” Provo Daily Herald, may 3, 1978, p. 31).

One of Stella’s Vernal high school students, Zelpha Cook Broadhead attributed her successful life to a conversation in her English class with Stella as the teacher:
I remember a little chat you had with us about going to college. You told us how you were able to go. I remember you saying anyone could go to college no matter how little money they had if they had the courage to try and a strong enough desire to go. I had always wanted to go to college but had more or less given up the idea as I knew the folks would not be able to help me. But I decided that day I would go to college. Things worked out, so I was able to complete all four years without stopping.

This student ended up having to be the breadwinner in her family as her husband broke his back and was in the hospital for almost a year. She taught school and supported her family as her dear mentor, Stella, had done. Zelpha said, “I never would have been able to have taken this responsibility if it had not been for your help in giving me a determination to go on to school.”

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