CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 13, 2011 — Southeast Missouri State University student Tiffani Stone of Bell City, Mo., a social work major, is the recipient of the Homer and Emma Atkinson Scholarship recently endowed through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.
The Foundation received a $10,000 gift from Naomi Atkinson Newman to establish the scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to an incoming senior majoring in social work with a minimum 2.0 grade point average who has overcome great odds to complete a degree. The Department of Social Work Scholarship Committee selected the recipient.
Stone says she chose to major in social work because of a social worker she had as a child. She added that she was grateful for Newman’s generosity and the faculty members who nominated her.
“I had the same social worker throughout my time in foster homes. She stayed with me until I was adopted before she retired. I want to be that person for others,” Stone said. “Mrs. Newman’s generous gift will not only help me complete my education but it also proves people have acknowledged the work I put into my schooling. It may have been a hard road for me to get where I’m at today, but I’d do it all over again if I had to.”
Newman made this contribution to the Foundation to honor her father and mother, Homer and Emma Atkinson, who valued education greatly. They were unable to finance Newman’s education but taught her by example a strong work ethic.
Newman says she is grateful to be able to offer a student in a situation similar to hers the opportunity to continue his or her education.
“I am pleased I can help someone earn a college degree because of my contribution,” Newman said.
From left are Dr. Michael Parker, chair of the Department of Social Work; Tiffani Stone, recipient of the Homer and Emma Atkinson Scholarship, and Naomi Atkinson Newman, who made a gift in her parents’ name to establish the scholarship.