Student awarded scholarship for fighting through brain injury


Submitted Photo

Robert Carroll

Former paramedic Amanda Montanaro suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash in September 2004. She now attends Kent State as graduate health education student and doesn’t let her past hold her back.

To help cover the cost of returning to school, Montanaro received a $500 Pilot International Becky Burrows Scholarship for her determination to fight though her medical problems from the Pilot Club of Akron, a volunteer-based, non-profit organization, said Jackie Barley, president of the Pilot Club of Akron.

“Amanda shows a lot of determination and works hard for what she does,” Barley said. “She contacted us first and told us about her brain injury, and we decided to sponsor her.”

Montanaro will also receive a little more money each year she continues her education.

“I am very excited because I am paying for school by loans, and I do not have an income right now,” Montanaro said. “Any little bit I can get helps a lot.”

Montanaro gave some advice for anyone in a similar position as she was in 2004 and is in now.

“If anyone feels like it’s the end, there are always ways to better yourself and improve things,” Montanaro said. “I go to school and know this education will get me back in the workforce soon.”

Though she attends school part-time, she said the education keeps her going when she has down moments and sad days.

Montaro continues to get up each day determined to get the education she deserves. Montanaro said she will get a job again if she stays focused on her education and not let distractions pull her away.

Barley said she is trying to get the scholarship and grant information on the Kent State website for other students to see the opportunity. If anyone is interested in volunteering at the Pilot Club of Akron, they can contact Barley at [email protected].

Contact Robert Carroll at [email protected].