Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Spradlin’

With the assistance of ThanksUSA scholarships totaling $9,000, Michelle Spradlin earned her degree from Tennessee Wesleyan College in 2012. Over the years, she has represented ThanksUSA scholars at outreach events and even contributed to this year’s ThanksUSA Treasure Hunt 9. Michelle is happy to share the following update with fellow ThanksUSA Alumni and Friends:


Michelle & Eddie Spradlin

ThanksUSA has helped me fulfill more than my educational goals. During my husbands first deployment to Iraq, I was led to make a career change. I had worked in banking all of my adult life, but my calling was to work in the educational field.

ThanksUSA helped support me financially as I attained my degree to become a teacher. This is my second year in the classroom and I have the privelege of substituting for two long-term materninty leaves in the same grade. Actually, the classrooms are next door to each other. Some of the students I am working with this year, I had last school year in ESL and/or Math Intervention, which has been very helpful.

At the beginning of this school year, I was disappointed that I had not been hired to be a full-time classroom teacher, but it has worked out in my favor. My husband has recently returmed from the Share Initiative Program in Atlanta, Georgia. We are learning to make adjustments he needs to “really live” with PTSD, TBI and long term back issues. Working in the school system also allows me to be on our daughter, Kiley’s schedule, which I am very grateful for.

A way that Kiley and I have found to be able to cope with my husband’s injuries is to serve others. We have always spent time together doing mission projects at home. However over Christmas break, we went on our first international mission trip to Orphanage Emmanuel in Honduras. Not only was it an eye opening experience for a thirteen year old, but it was for me too.

I am grateful my husband is recovering from war related illnesses, we have each other, a home and live in a safe country. As my husband continues to improve, my daughter and I are planning to spend more time at the orphanage. This summer, I will volunteer to teach English in the orphanage school. I am currently taking the last college class needed to be a certified ESL (English Second Language) teacher.

Someday, I pray that my husband will be able to travel with me to do more international missions and perhaps adopt children. We always wanted more children, but due to deployments and his injuries, we were unable. I believe knowledge is power and having a formal education has fulfilled my dreams of being a teacher, being on our daughter’s schedule, to be home more than I was with my previous employer, and to be able to serve others. I am very thankful for ThanksUSA. It has allowed me to try to become the person that I want to be.



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Scholarship News

This week’s featured scholar, Michelle Spradlin, will represent ThanksUSA Scholarship Recipients at our November 9th benefit concert in Nashville, TN.  Michelle was eager to share her story with me and hopes that it will inspire others to pursue higher education:

Michelle Spradlin

My name is Michelle Spradlin.  I am 32 years old and a junior at Tennessee Wesleyan College.  I am also a military wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend, a big sister and am very blessed to be loved.  I am very involved in my community, my church and my daughters’ activities.

If you had asked me ten years ago about my thoughts on college, I would not have known where to start.  I have a great family who taught me to work hard, and so I do my best. 

Five years ago, my husband was returning from his first tour in Iraq and I was working as a branch manager of a bank.  We decided then that it was time for me to start college.  I was unsure of how to begin or where I’d end up, but I knew that I wanted to teach in the public school system.  I fall every day, but I have determination and hope.  I hope that when I have the privilege of being called teacher that I inspire my students to exceed in all they do.  I will also share with them what a great privilege we have to be Americans.

My husband, Eddie Spradlin, served ten years with the United States Marine Corps.  He was deployed with the Marines to Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004.  He is currently serving with the Army National Guard. He deployed with the National Guard to Camp Bucca, Iraq, in 2007.  His deployments taught us we could face anything!

That being said, college presents financial challenges that are difficult to face.  If not for programs like ThanksUSA, it would not have been financially feasible for me to attend college.  I am very thankful to all who support such an outstanding program.  It makes me feel proud and humble that I was chosen as a 2009 ThanksUSA Scholarship Recipient.  I look forward to being able to give back to our country through my own education.  Thank you again; not only for the financial support, but also for believing in me!

The Spradlin Family

Thank you, Michelle!  We wish you, and all ThanksUSA Scholarship Recipients continued academic success.  If you would like tickets to the ThanksUSA benefit concert, please visit Ticketmaster.  Featured artists for the event include Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Jim Lauderdale, The Steel Drivers, Leslie Satcher, and Monty Holmes…hope to see you there!

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