Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
PROVO -- A Provo businessman credited with being brilliant and having a heart of gold wins this week's High 5.
Dave Young is the president and founder of Paragon Wealth Management in Provo. The employee who nominated him for a High 5 heralded his business sense, but says a special program he started for single women is what really makes him special.
For Katie Bunnell, her life has not taken the path she expected.
"My husband passed away unexpectedly after I had my daughter," she says. "She was three months when he passed away."
At that point, Katie was planning on being a stay-at-home mom. Suddenly, those plans changed.
"I decided that the best opportunity for me would be to go to college," she says.
That was easier said than done. Katie's father, Dave Young, saw his daughter's struggles first hand.
"My daughter was a single mom and just had a heck of a time getting scholarship aid and getting the help she needed to get through school," he says.
Dave witnessed her applying for grants and being refused -- all the while working to pay for day care so she could go to school. To help women in similar situations, he used his pull as a businessman to start the "Live Your Dream Scholarships."
"By providing the scholarships we're able to help lift out of this circle of inability to get to the next step," Dave says.
He set up the non-profit organization and raised money through a 5K race, a silent auction and other community fundraisers. His company has been able to provide three full-tuition scholarships for one semester at any school in Utah.
Elizabeth Michalek nominated Dave for the High 5. "He is an outstanding boss and is really contributing a lot to help other people," she says.
Shannon Golladay, another daughter of Dave's, says, "It's just really neat to have a cause, you know, something more to the business. A deeper meaning."
That deeper meaning is felt acutely by Erica Hammond, one of the recipients of the Live Your Dreams Scholarship.
"My life is completely back to back all the time and sometimes I drop into bed at eleven and say, ‘Is this ever gonna end?'" she says.
Erica juggles being a single mom of two young boys with school, work and health problems. Facing her last year of college, grants had run out and she didn't know if she'd be able to finish her degree.
The scholarship from Dave Young is helping to keep her dream alive.
"I don't know how to say thank you enough to him, because when you come up against a brick wall and somebody opens the door for you it's such a blessing," Erica says.
Dave says it's completely worth the hard work. "It was one thing to do it, but to see how excited the girls were and just to talk to them and realize that this was really something that was helping them get over a hurdle that they couldn't have gotten over otherwise," he says.
Dave received a gift basket from our High 5 partners at Les Schwab, along with a $100 gift certificate for services there.