A Mother’s Thank You…
Editor’s Note: Readers typically write us after each issue of SCAN to share personal views on stories we’ve published. This letter, edited for length, was different. We had to share it.
My name is Michelle, and my daughter graduated from St. Catherine University in May 2011. It was truly a lovely day; the ceremony, Mass and campus are memories I will always cherish.
Twelve years ago, I found myself suddenly a single mother of three. Difficult year to say the least; my children were 15, 13 and 10. Mackenzie, a fierce basketball competitor and motivated student, was about to take on high school in Missoula, Montana. She applied early to St. Kate’s and was offered the most wonderful scholarship. It was her dream to attend college out of state.
After reading SCAN, I felt compelled to write to you. It struck me that I never met any of my daughter’s teachers or was able to thank anyone for their care, instruction and guidance. However, I thought it was important that you know what an amazing job you all did and what she has done in return. The other night on the phone, she said that she would not be the woman she is today had she not attended St. Kate’s.
My daughter could, as they say, do anything she put her mind to. She studied abroad in Greece, bungee jumped off a canal, studied in Ireland for a second semester, traveled Italy and Germany, then Namibia and South Africa her senior year. She volunteered for breast cancer causes during her travels. Mackenzie was an intern for Al Franken, worked for Governor Mark Dayton, and was on St. Kate’s Student Senate.
She graduated with honors, and a double major in political science and sociology.
She became a women’s advocate at our local YWCA, driving abuse victims to the shelter and managing the intake desk. One day, Mackenzie announced: “It’s time to give back, mom!” She left to join City Year, a nonprofit that helps at-risk students in Denver, Colorado. She was later accepted into Teach for America Denver.
Mackenzie is currently a math teacher in Denver and working towards her master’s in education. I am so proud of the young woman she is, and I thank each of you who played a part in her education. I hope to see St. Kate’s again someday.
Michelle Horton Grimstad
Michelle Horton Grimstad (right) and Mackenzie Grimstad