ATHENA Nontraditional Scholarship


ATHENA Scholarship

The ATHENA  Scholarship is awarded to a Rutherford County woman who is pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree later in life. This $3,000 scholarship is offered through the generous support of the ATHENA Patrons Society.

“The ATHENA Patrons Society is delighted to present Karla Kirelawich with a scholarship to Middle Tennessee State University in the amount of $3,000. Pursuing higher education, especially later in life, is a courageous act. The ATHENA Patrons Society applauds Karla’s commitment to learning and professional development. We congratulate Karla, and we know that her future is bright,” said ATHENA 2021 Chair Julie Lewis

In addition to the annual scholarship, Pinnacle Financial Partners, a perennial sponsor of the Rutherford ATHENA Awards, is offering a one-time $1,500 scholarship for a second deserving applicant. These funds were allocated from last year’s Patron Sponsorship, where unfortunately, the Patrons reception was cancelled due to pandemic precautions.

Karla Kirelawich is a Graphic Design major at Middle Tennessee State University. She has lived in the middle Tennessee area for most of the last 20 years. Karla and her husband Chuck have two nearly grown daughters and a variety of four-legged family members. She enjoys most everything creative and is looking forward to finding a career that allows her to flex her creative abilities while also allowing her to prepare for the future.

Applicant Eligibility Requirements

  • Female
  • Permanent resident of Rutherford County
  • Graduated high school or completed GED at least five years ago
  • Student in or an applicant for admission to any associate’s or bachelor’s degree program
  • Previous recipients are not eligible for the ATHENA Nontraditional Scholarship.

Application Process

In addition to the application form itself, four (4) documents must be submitted:

Two letters of reference on official stationery focusing on academic potential, leadership abilities, need, and worthiness of student written by a) a former teacher or supervisor or b) a non-relative who is familiar with the student’s potential to be successful in a higher education program of study.

A copy of your high school transcript. If you have attended college previously, a copy of your college transcript, as well, and a copy of your high school diploma or GED certificate.

A copy of a letter from the college or school verifying your completion of application materials and/or admission.

2020 Rutherford ATHENA Scholarship Recipient Karla Kirelawich

To apply for the 2021 ATHENA Scholarship, please follow the link below to complete your application

Deadline to apply is March 31, 2021

If you have any questions or need help with your application, please contact Athena scholarship chair, Margaret Woodis, at

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