Stories of Support

Shannon Dawson’s Talk

Feb 16, 2023

Shannon Dawson’s talk, delivered at the 2022 Casino Night fundraiser event

“Good evening.

I am a two-time recipient of The Charles and Salome Reymann Foundation scholarship. I want to not only thank the Reymann Foundation board for selecting me, but each one of you attending this evening which helps make this perpetual scholarship through the University of Akron possible.

In 2018 I filed for divorce after 19 years of marriage. I had been a stay-at-home mom to my three children, one of whom suffers from a disability. I soon realized that with little professional work experience and only a history degree to write on my resume, my potential for finding a good way to support myself was very limited. I was able to find work as a special needs teachers aid at North Canton Middle school, and loved my work there with the students. Reality hit my pocketbook when I realized I would not be able to continue live on $11/hour for the rest of my life. I made the big decision to go back to school to obtain teaching licensure in special education.

After my divorce was finalized, I received a small settlement of $20,000 that was to be for my retirement. Instead, I took a portion of it, and this is how I have funded my credits at the University of Akron. It has been hard to watch the money in my savings account dwindle, but I knew it was worth it because I would eventually have a job teaching special education students and that I could make a living wage doing something I really cherish.

The scholarship money through this foundation is a true blessing because I am in my final semester- student teaching at Barberton high school 40 hours a week and taking my final two classes at the University of Akron. This has been a financially stressful period and I am extremely grateful to be a recipient of the Reymann Foundation scholarship for special education majors. 

I look forward to volunteering for the Reymann Foundation fundraising events in the future because of the huge difference the scholarship made for me. 

Thank you.”