Lily Newman ’00 and her family. Photo by Lisa Vollmer.

Lily Newman ’00 and her family. Photo by Lisa Vollmer.

Sometimes a little support can take you a long, long way.

The advice of a good friend, the help of a loving family, and the generosity of a donor made it possible for one Colorado College graduate to “live her dreams.”

Halfway through her freshman year at CC, life changed for Lily Newman ’00. An unexpected pregnancy led her to the decision to finish her freshman year and return home to the East Coast to be with her family and give birth to her son, Sandro. Shortly thereafter, she started looking into going back to school.

At first, she looked close to home at liberal arts and women’s colleges on the East Coast. Women’s colleges, she thought, surely would have assistance to offer a female student who was a single parent. She was wrong. Then she started looking at state universities, but found that they too were lacking in resources for someone like her.

“I was looking at graduating thousands and thousands of dollars in debt and barely scraping by while in college. Plus, I’d be on my own when it came to child care,” Newman said. “I was at my wit’s end.”

One day, a good friend from CC called. They’d met during first year orientation when they both lived in Slocum Hall, and had kept in touch after Newman left to have her baby.

“She knew I was struggling to figure out how to go back to school. She said ‘Hey, I heard about this scholarship for single parents at CC. You should look into it’,” Newman said.

So Newman did. With the Mark and Catherine Winkler Scholarship Fund, Newman returned to CC with her son, thrived, and graduated magna cum laude with a major in English in 2000.

“Not only did I have my educational costs covered, but the scholarship provided money for me to pay for quality child care while I was studying,” Newman said. “I had this sense of being able to live my dreams. The scholarship and being able to finish at CC is much of the foundation on which my life and career have been built.”

Today, Newman lives with Sandro, now 14; her son Isaiah, 2; and her husband Brendan in Massachusetts. Her career has been dedicated to education, particularly the experiential kind she participated in at CC. She has worked in “deeply troubled” public schools. She was a founding teacher in a charter high school in Massachusetts, and now, as an educational consultant, she travels all over the country leading teacher professional development institutes and working for comprehensive education reform.

“I’ve worked a lot with students in deep poverty. It takes more than hard work to get out of the most difficult situations — it takes the gift of support from others.”

Mark and Catherine Winkler Scholarship Fund Catherine Winkler-Herman P’68 was a philanthropist whose daughter and granddaughters attended Colorado College. Her family foundation has made several significant gifts to the college during the past 45 years. Concerned about access to education in the liberal arts and sciences for single parents, Winkler-Herman created the Mark and Catherine Winkler Scholarship Fund at the college in 1978. The fund, now valued at more than $2.2 million, provides scholarship support for education and childcare expenses for CC students who are single parents.