“Be the woman who straightens another woman’s crown without telling the world it was crooked.”
This year we're continuing the theme we started last year: 'straighten those crowns', a tribute to the kind of person that Kristen was and the kind of person that inspires us to do the work that we do representing Virginia women in divorce and custody cases.
Nominate a deserving woman (or yourself) today!
For more information about the 2023 Kristen D. Hofheimer Memorial Scholarship, continue reading.
Who was Kristen D. Hofheimer, and what is the Kristen D. Hofheimer Memorial Scholarship?
Kristen D. Hofheimer was an attorney in our office – and the owner of Hofheimer Family Law Firm – before she passed away from breast cancer in early 2019. She had taken over ownership of the firm after her dad, Charlie Hofheimer, retired a few years prior.
Kristen was an incredible attorney and an even better friend. After she passed away, we were heartbroken, and we wanted to do something to pay tribute to her memory. The Kristen D. Hofheimer Memorial Scholarship was born.
Kristen was a great believer in education; in fact, despite having received a full scholarship to the University of Richmond for law school, she wanted to attend the University of Virginia. She attended as a single mother, often bringing her son, Shay, to classes with her, and forming a babysitting co-op with several of the other law student moms. She co-wrote an article in the law review on breastfeeding, and joined the firm (alongside her dad and current firm owner, Sheera Herrell) after graduation.
She worked in the firm until her retirement in 2017, but in that time worked tirelessly representing women exclusively in divorce, custody, and support. She worked with a number of different causes to protect abused children, to support protective moms, and to promote gender and marriage equality.
After she passed away, we wanted to do something that both honored her and stayed true to our mission of supporting, educating, and empowering women. A scholarship competition seemed like the perfect fit, so we launch it each year on her birthday (April 15th)!
Does the scholarship have a theme?
Yes! The theme this year is “Straighten those crowns”. It comes from a quote – “Be the kind of woman who straightens another woman’s crown without telling the world it was crooked.”
In our opinion, it exemplifies Kristen. As a family law firm that is dedicated to representing women exclusively, we like to think that it exemplifies us all, but it definitely is a characteristic that Kristen possessed in spades.
What’s the prize? How many will win?
We have two $1,000 scholarships to award to deserving women who have exemplified our theme, “Straighten Those Crowns”.
Do I have to be divorced or divorcing to qualify?
Nope. We’re looking for Virginia women who are looking to go to (or go back to) school to get a degree, certificate, or other certification that will allow them to better their personal and financial situation. (Though, sorry, at this point, we’re not really looking for rising high school seniors.)
Does it matter what kind of educational program I’m in?
No. We’re open to anything – a technical or vocational program, a training certificate, a 2 or 4 year graduate or undergraduate program, whatever. As long as it’s designed to move you forward as you pursue the future of your dreams, you should consider us your unofficial cheerleaders.
How do I enter?
We open the scholarship to new submissions on April 15th – Kristen’s birthday! You’ll be able to enter – or nominate a deserving woman – until May 31st, when we’ll close the portal. Late applications and incomplete submissions will not be accepted.
From among the entries we receive, we’ll select semifinalists, who’ll be eligible to submit a video essay of more than thirty seconds but no more than two minutes in length. The top 3-5 submissions will be ‘finalists’, who will be featured on our website and social media pages for ‘American Idol’ style voting – the two who receive the most votes from the public will win the scholarships!
Chances of winning depend on the number of entries received. The final selections will be made by July 31st.
Can you give me a hint? What are you looking for when you say, “Straighten Those Crowns”?
We’re a family law firm that represents women exclusively in divorce, custody, and support cases. We’ve built our careers on encouraging, supporting, and educating women – and Kristen really exemplified this mission.
There are a million examples in popular culture of how we pit women against each other, tear each other down, and view each other as competition. In a world where there aren’t enough opportunities for women at the top, it's tempting to feel like other women are to blame, or that another successful woman will impact our chances to get where we need to be.
You see it all the time. It’s Kate versus Meghan (or, to take their proper titles, the Duchess of Cambridge versus the Duchess of Sussex), its Bette or Joan, it’s Nancy Kerrigan versus Tanya Harding… maybe those are bad examples, because as often as it happens in pop culture, it happens even more in our daily lives.
It’s bullying, peer pressure, and teasing. It’s spreading rumors and gossiping, it’s repeating unkind things. It’s insidious.
And it’s not all our fault; we’ve been conditioned to be this way.
Studies have shown that women who support each other are more successful overall. In fact, women who have a strong network of other women supporting and encouraging them are more likely to land better, higher paying jobs.
It isn’t just about the end goal of personal and professional success, though, we’ll admit, those are pretty awesome, too. It’s just a better way to live, and a better model for our daughters – and our sons, too! We’re not each other’s enemies; we’re our strongest support systems.
We’re hoping to hear some stories that exemplify this – of women lifting each other up, supporting each other, and encouraging each other. Whether it’s support that another woman offered you, support you offered someone else, or even how you plan to exemplify the theme, “Straighten Those Crowns” in the future, we want to hear about it!
Or, if you’re nominating a deserving woman, tell us about her – why she’s worthy, what you love about her, what she’s planning on doing. You’re already straightening her crown, Queen, and we love you for it!
I’ve already won once! Can I win again?
I’m not in school – can I enter?
This is, first and foremost, a scholarship competition. However, in 2021, we did award one of the scholarships to a recipient who intended to use the money to assist in setting up a business. This is not the norm, but we found her story so compelling that we allowed her to participate as a semifinalist, and she received enough votes to win the scholarship.
It’s definitely not a guarantee, but you’re welcome to shoot your shot.
I’m a high school senior! Can I apply?
This scholarship is for nontraditional students – sorry! We’re not looking for high school seniors at this time, but our friends at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers have a scholarship that might interest you!
I’ve got more questions! Who can I contact?
If you have questions or need additional information regarding Hofheimer Family Law Firm, you may contact Katie Carter at [email protected].