Melissa Palzewicz.jpg

Melissa Palzewicz

FRYEBURG, Maine — has announced that a Fryeburg, Maine, mother of four was named as the sole winner of the most recent round of the company’s national Working Parent Scholarship.

The national scholarship recognizes the efforts of students across the country who balance the difficult tasks of parenthood, working and excelling in school. awarded a $1,000 Working Parent Scholarship to Melissa Palzewicz, 44, of Fryeburg.

Palzewicz is studying political science at the University of Southern Maine; she is in her senior year. Palzewicz has three daughters and one son, ranging in age from 16 to 21.

“With three children in college, it would not be possible for me to continue my education without external financial aid,” Palzewicz said. “This scholarship gets me one step closer to where I want to be!”

In her essay, Palzewicz writes about the keys to a “successful juggling act” of balancing the demands of working, being a parent and returning to school to obtain her degree.

To excel, she said, she has developed “excellent organization skills and the tools to support those skills, time-management commitment and the ability to not take oneself too seriously.”

You can read her winning essay at

The Working Parent Scholarship was created by the Canton, Ohio-based company to help address the financial burden of obtaining a college education.

Average student loan debt upon graduation in 2018 nationally was $29,200, according to a recent report from the Institute for College Access & Success. In Maine, according to the study, that student debt figure was even higher: $32,676. created the Working Parent Scholarship in 2013 to help families obtain a better education to help build a career. More than $25,000 has been awarded.

“Our Working Parent Scholarship is our way to help reduce some of that pressure to help parents return to school to better their career,” said President Doug Crawford.

Applicants submit an essay on how to successfully balance parenthood, working and excelling in school.

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