At Heartbeat International’s Annual Conference on Wednesday, the first Unplanned Movie Scholarship was awarded to a young mother who is attending college while working two jobs. The scholarship is a pro-life partnership between Heartbeat International and Unplanned star Ashley Bratcher.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was held remotely and the scholarship was presented via video by Bratcher, Reliance Center founder Heather Lawless, and Heartbeat Vice President of Mission Advancement Cindi Boston-Billota. The scholarship came as a surprise to its recipient.
Brittni is the mom of 18-month-old Brantlee, whom she says may not be here today if it weren’t for the Reliance Center, a pro-life organization that helped her choose life for her son and supported her through that decision. She began receiving assistance through the center when she was just eight weeks pregnant and she completed the 12-week Embrace Grace program they offered, as well as mentoring and parenting classes. The center also provided parenting classes for Brantlee’s father and helped Brittni with her rent, electric bill, and daycare.
Today, Brittni works a full-time job, an additional part-time job, and attends school full-time. She is engaged to be married in the Spring of 2021 and will graduate around the same time.
We've just awarded our 1st Unplanned Movie Scholarship! 💜 My heart is so full of joy that it feels like it could burst. I don't even know how to describe what it feels like to be able to give back this way. Brittni is such an inspiration and so deserving of this scholarship. Take a look as we surprise her with the good news. Thank you to Heartbeat International for partnering to create this wonderful fund to help mothers get through school.www.UnplannedMovieScholarship.com
Posted by Ashley Bratcher on Wednesday, April 15, 2020
“You know we love you, and we’re so proud of you, right?” Lawless told Brittni in the video. “And you’re working so hard to give Brantlee a good life. And we are just so proud of you. So, Heartbeat International and Ashley Bratcher have awarded you a scholarship.” That scholarship includes thousands of dollars in assistance to help Brittni continue her education and provide childcare for her son. Brittni was brought to tears of gratitude, and everyone around her began to cry as well.
“We just wanted you to know, you represent everything that we want this scholarship to embody,” Bratcher said with tears. “You have worked so hard and you’ve faced so many challenges to get to where you are. And you’re doing the work. You’re pushing forward. You love your son. You’re working hard, and you’re exactly the kind of woman that we want the world to see as a role model.”
Boston-Billota said that for every Brittni there are thousands of other women choosing life in difficult circumstances and working hard to provide a good life for their children.
“You don’t have to lose your dreams and goals,” she explained of facing an unplanned pregnancy. “You can attain the things you want to attain if you’ll surround yourself with the assistance and the love that’s provided at a pregnancy help organization.”
Bratcher thanked the donors who made the Unplanned Movie Scholarship possible and allowed them to help Brittni continue her education.
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