Congratulations to Kierstyn Cash whose winning essay, “A Clean Slate”, won the McKenzie Law Firm Second Chance Scholarship. Kierstyn wrote movingly about a chance to start over and gain new expectations of herself.
McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., founder David McKenzie started the Second Chance Scholarship to help one student a year make the most of their second chance with a $1,000 scholarship
Kierstyn, 24, of Fairfield, CA., is a master’s student at Arizona State University, studying to be a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, working with people with special learning and behavior needs, including people with autism.
Her second chance began when her husband, Jordon Tillman, joined the U.S. Air Force in 2016. The young couple left behind their families, the college she was attending, their friends and a cocoon of warmth and love in their hometown of Las Vegas.
Today, Jordon is a Senior Airman, and Kierstyn has achieved beyond what she expected of herself. With her only work experience in baby-sitting and the service industry, Kierstyn was nervous about her job search. She stretched herself by applying to help therapists who provide Applied Behavior Analysis therapy to people with autism.
“I felt really underqualified,’’ she said. Her time in customer service served her well, as she was already in tune with making sure her clients and her coworkers were satisfied with her performance.
Soon she discovered her passion. She completed her B.A. from Brandman University and began a master’s program at ASU.
“I’m really happy that we stepped out of our comfort zone,” she said.
As Kierstyn wrote in her essay, everyone’s second chance looks different. Some people are given an obvious chance. Kierstyn’s second chance came as a slow realization that she could do something bigger than she had ever imagined.
Our Norristown, PA., based criminal defense firm, McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., is built around the belief that everyone deserves a second chance. As criminal defense attorneys, we’ve seen people who have experienced the seemingly most hopeless of experience turn around and take advantage of a second chance.
“Countless people through history have taken advantage of a second chance and gone on to contribute wonderful things in science, business, and the arts,’’ firm founder David McKenzie said.
The deadline for next year’s Second Chance Scholarship is Dec. 15.
Read Kierstyn Cash’s essay and watch her interview here.