Myrtle "Edna" Cheek - a Hartnell College graduate - has received a scholarship to attend California State University, Monterey Bay, in the fall.
A resident of Salinas, she will major in music studies and would like to become a music teacher and director.
The eldest of three children, Cheek was born with a physical birth defect of dislocated hips. In addition, over the years she suffered severe injuries in auto collisions, a fall in her home, and underwent many surgeries.
Despite these setbacks, she views herself as a walking miracle. "I have walked without assistive aids continuously for more than six years. My life is a blessing and an endurance marathon of overcoming challenges."
The mother of three sons, she has been active at Hartnell College and in the community. At Hartnell, she was a member of the accreditation steering committee, the future teachers club and the music club. She also was president of the college's single parents club.
Carl Christensen, Hartnell music instructor, says Cheek was a highly motivated and serious student. "She was very committed to the study of music at the college level. This dedication is evidenced by the fact that she returned to college after a 10-year absence due to family responsibilities," he said.
In the community, Cheek served on the board of directors of several service organizations, including the Optimist International Foundation, North Monterey County's first after school latchkey child care program and Cub Scouts.
She was honored by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors' Commission on the Status of Women as an Outstanding Woman of the Year 2000. Cheek also has received commendations for outstanding service by the United States Senate and House of Representatives, as well as the California State Senate and Assembly.
The scholarship, which provides $1,500 per year for up to three years, is designed to promote access to local area students interested in attending CSUMB.
For more information, call (831) 755-6810.