For the third year in a row, we are accepting applications for the 2021 Kristen D. Hofheimer Memorial Scholarship Competition. It was named in honor of Kristen D. Hofheimer, our former managing partner and owner, who died in 2019 after a long struggle with breast cancer.
Kristen was a lot of things to a lot of people. She was an incredible attorney, with a gift for complicated custody cases. She was involved with protective moms groups, an advocate for breastfeeding mothers, and a champion for helping improve women’s experiences during custody and divorce cases. She created our Girl’s Night Out event series, as well as our Custody Bootcamp for Moms custody seminars.
She was an incredible person, too. She was a single mother, when her son was young, even taking him to class with her, and participating in a babysitting coop with other single mom law students at the University of Virginia.
So, for the last three years, we’ve tried to do what we can to honor her legacy, and to help support and lift up local area women – we created a scholarship. Kristen, who valued education above all else, would have liked that, we think.
Each year, the scholarship competition has included a video essay of between 30 seconds and 2 minutes in length. We take the best couple of applicants, and put them on our website – and open it up to American Idol-style voting for your favorites. It’s pretty exciting, watching the votes tick up and wondering who’ll be the ultimate winner!
This year, for our theme, we’ve selected ‘the future is female’. We’re always excited about our scholarship competition, but this one seems particularly apt, given everything going on in the world. Last year, we did a pandemic theme – we didn’t want to do that this time, but there’s also no denying that the pandemic has changed the world.
Millions and millions of jobs have been lost, and many of the people who lost those jobs were women. Why? Probably a lot of reasons. The women were the lesser earners anyway, so it was easier for a wife to leave (and homeschool the kids) than for the husband.
Because their jobs were made redundant, or because they worked in the service industry, which was hard hit by stay at home orders and people’s hesitancy to go out the way they used to. Because companies were bankrupt. Whatever the reason, women were losing jobs – and men weren’t. Worse, women only earn 81 cents on the dollar compared to men, and the women the most deeply affected are women of color.
But it’s not all bad, of course. Women around the world are doing incredible things. One even got elected to Vice President – the first time a woman (and a woman of color, at that!) has achieved such high ranking political office in the United States. We celebrated 100 years of women’s suffrage, too – hard to believe that, so recently, women couldn’t even vote at all.
More women are attending law school than men. More women are publishing books, and working in traditionally male fields than ever before. Taylor Swift is re-recording all of her old music so that she can own the ‘masters’ of all of her songs and control her own creative license like never before. Women are making films, writing poems, and doing amazing things like never before.
Part of shattering glass ceilings comes from open the doors that are opened through education. Part of closing that wage gap comes from earning professional opportunities, even if you have to work twice as hard as the men in your field, and then blowing everyone else away with your capability.
We’re so excited to be a small part of your journey to your new happily ever after, and we hope that you’ll apply for our scholarship! Education is such an exciting thing, because it can pave the way to an entirely different future for your family.
For more information, or to apply for the scholarship, visit our website or send me an email at email@example.com. Good luck!