Bonnie Thorson — originally from Red Wing — recently received a $3,000 continuing education scholarship from the local P chapter of the philanthropic education organization.
“She deserves it,” said Jane Rutledge, PEO member and friend of Thorson. “She’s a good girl and her parents, Nancy and Gary Thorson, are from Red Wing.”
PEO is “a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women; educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans, and Cottey College management and motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations,” according to its website and Rutledge.
The organization was established in 1869 and has chapters across the country.
Nancy has been a member of Red Wing Chapter P for 48 years and nominated Thorson for the scholarship.
During the height of COVID-19, Thorson worked as a paraprofessional and helped her three children with homeschooling.
While helping her children, Thorson found a love for elementary education and decided to return to college to pursue a relative degree.
“She really loved being a paraprofessional, working with special education students, but she found a love in teaching,” Rutledge said.
Thorson already has a bachelor’s degree in German and communications, which made her eligible for the continuing education scholarship.
“Her mom thought she would be a great candidate to win, and we were all so happy she did,” Rutledge said.
Thorson now lives in the Twin Cities and plans to use the scholarship money for tuition in the fall.