Two Mothers Studying at Catawba College Receive Answer Scholarship

ANSWER Scholarship, which provides college scholarships, mentoring, and professional development training to local mothers earning a college degree, has named two Catawba College students as ANSWER scholars for the 2024-25 academic year.

Tywanda Heilig, a resident of Salisbury, and Briana Pertee, of Granite Quarry, are part of the class of 24 moms receiving support from ANSWER Scholarship this year. Headquartered in Charlotte, ANSWER Scholarship serves mothers in Mecklenburg and 11 surrounding counties. More than 140 moms have been ANSWER scholars since the non-profit’s founding in 2006.

Tywanda Heilig is earning a BS in Business Administration and a minor in marketing, with expected graduation in December 2025. As a single mom to a 13-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son, Heilig has persevered through many challenges, including the death of her brother. She says her late mother “taught her to be strong and keep going no matter what.” Heilig hopes to teach her own children that “education is important and a college education is a must in their house.”

Briana Pertee, a married mom with a 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son, is studying for a BA in Education with a concentration in birth through kindergarten. A rising senior, she expects to graduate in May 2025. Pertee currently holds an associate degree in early childhood education and wants to earn a four-year degree, she says, “to better my children’s lives by bettering my own and furthering my career.” As a teacher, she also wants to show children in her classes “that there are people who care to see them succeed.”

Since 2006, ANSWER Scholarship has helped remarkable mothers in the Charlotte region earn college degrees. Their children are inspired to follow their moms’ example and work harder in school. The organization seeks to influence economic and social mobility by helping to educate one mother at a time. ANSWER’s graduation rate in May was 91%, far surpassing the national graduation rate for non-traditional students.

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