Care Net and Regent University Award Four-Year Scholarship to Pregnancy Center Client

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In Annual Award’s Fourth Year, Christina Oien Given Full Ride to Pursue Her Bachelor’s Degree.

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As a parent, a student, and in recovering from addiction, Christina’s character, faith, and dedication exemplify the type of student we seek for this scholarship.

Care Net, in partnership with Regent University, has awarded a four-year scholarship to Christina Oien, a single parent nominated for the scholarship by Legacy Pregnancy Center, a Care Net affiliate in Sheridan, Wyoming, where she receives support services.

Regent University, a leading university offering education rooted in a Christian-perspective, has partnered with Care Net, a nonprofit organization that supports the nation’s largest network of pregnancy centers, for the last four years to offer scholarships to clients who have been served by one of Care Net’s 1,180 affiliated centers.

This year’s winner, Christina Oien, is single mother to an active 5 year old, Anthony. Already a college student and a woman of deep faith, Oien is planning to move to Virginia to attend classes at Regent.

Oien’s maturity and confidence have come through a challenging personal journey. For years, she struggled with addiction. While in prison, Oien, already a parent, learned she was again pregnant - this time with twins. Overwhelmed, Oien sought assistance at Legacy Pregnancy Center, and found more emotional, spiritual, and material support than she could have imagined.

Although she had no idea how she could care for the twins and manage her other responsibilities, Oien was initially reluctant to consider adoption. Later, with the help of Legacy team members, she explored this option more seriously, speaking with an attorney, interviewing families, and creating an adoption plan for the twins. Oien graduated from her addiction recovery program just days after giving birth. She has become a role model to others, and offered this advice to other women making pregnancy decisions: “If I knew someone who was considering abortion, I would tell them to reconsider because they have the opportunity to give a family the most incredible gift.”

Crystal Merriam, advancement director of Legacy Pregnancy Center, first nominated Oien for the scholarship in 2013, but Oien was not selected. In 2014, Merriam nominated Oien again, stating that she was "the most stable and focused client with whom I have worked, despite facing tumultuous circumstances… Furthermore, it is likely that Regent University will actually derive more benefit from Christina's attitude and background than Christina will receive from the college."

Oien’s emotional reaction to learning she was this year’s winner was captured in this video, recorded at the Legacy Pregnancy Center.

Oien was presented with the scholarship award at the Care Net National Pregnancy Center Conference in Dallas last month. Diane Fiazza, Director of the School of Business and Leadership at Regent University, and Cynthia Hopkins, Care Net's Vice President of Center Services and Client Care, presented the award.

Accepting the scholarship, Oien said, “I just want to thank everyone who makes this possible, for this opportunity, and I pray every day that the heart that I have to be a servant never changes. Thank you.”

On behalf of the Care Net scholarship committee, Hopkins said: “We are thrilled to award this scholarship to a woman who has exemplified courage and determination to overcome even the most difficult obstacles. As a parent, a student, and in recovering from addiction, Christina’s character, faith, and dedication exemplify the type of student we seek for this scholarship. We look forward to hearing of Christina’s future achievements.”

Oien is already a student at Sheridan College. Earlier this month, she shared her story with The Sheridan Press (view images). Oien will pursue a BA in the biophysical science program at Regent in pursuit of a career in dentistry.

Care Net and Regent University will again present the scholarship award next year at Care Net's National Pregnancy Center Conference taking place in San Diego, CA from September 9th – 12th . The application process will open by June 2015.

In a competitive process, clients are nominated by their local pregnancy center, submitting applications, which are reviewed by a scholarship committee. The successful applicant demonstrates strong leadership potential, determination, academic aptitude, and the ability to thrive in Regent's rigorous program.

Founded in 1975, Care Net, supports the largest network of pregnancy centers in North America. Care Net envisions a culture where women and men facing pregnancy decisions are empowered by the gospel of Jesus Christ to choose life for their unborn children and abundant life for their families. Acknowledging that every human life begins at conception and is worthy of protection, Care Net offers compassion, hope, and help to anyone considering abortion by presenting them with realistic alternatives and Christ-centered support through its life-affirming network of pregnancy centers, organizations, and individuals. Learn more at care-net.org.

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Vincent DiCaro
Care Net
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