Scholarship Supports Education and Event Attendance
Safety technician Ashley Craddock is all smiles. Recently, she was named one of the recipients of the National Safety Council’s Diversity in Safety Scholarships, a $5,000 tuition award, renewable up to four years. “That pays for a semester of college for me,” Ashley claps excitedly. In addition to the award, the scholarship will support her travel to California to attend the NSC Safety Congress & Expo, with access to technical sessions, keynote addresses, and an expo of more than 1,000 exhibitors and networking events. Roughly 14,000 occupational safety and health professionals attend this event, and Ashley will be there, with all costs paid by the National Safety Council.
The scholarship itself was the result of chance and excellent writing skills on Ashley’s behalf. “I just woke up one morning and saw a LinkedIn article in my feed, saying the deadline for this NSC scholarship had been extended,” Ashley says. “So, I thought, ‘Why not?’”
That very morning, she went into Brian Wimmer’s office and asked for a letter of recommendation. “I knew it was last minute,” Ashley says, “but he was so happy to do it for me. He’s such a supportive boss.” Weeks later, after submitting the letter of recommendation and three short essays, along with her school transcripts, she found out she had won the award.
The funds from the scholarship will go directly to the University of Central Missouri, where she is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Safety and Risk Management. Mother of two high schoolers and a kindergartener, she manages work, school, and home without missing much. “Things like meal plans are so important. Just put things in the microwave or oven and eat!”
And though she’s done a lot, Ashley isn’t done yet. She’s also just applied to graduate school for her post-bachelor’s education. Hopefully, she’ll be able to extend that scholarship to follow her to the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she can earn her Master of Science in Safety.
“I’m just so happy,” Ashley says, “I have such a great support system here and at home.” She credits her parents as being her biggest cheerleaders, and her husband was so excited he wanted to travel with her to California. “He asked me what he’s going to do with the kids for four days,” Ashley laughs. “I told him he’d have to figure it out and keep them alive until I get back.”