A woman who loved her work and held the highest respect for education has left her legacy in the form of a memorial scholarship to Mineral Area College.
Friends, family and coworkers of the late Judy Steska Latham, of Fredericktown and Farmington, gathered at Centene Corporation on Friday morning, Oct. 30, to honor the wishes of the nine-year employee who had used grit, determination and education to work her way up from a position as claims analyst to becoming a claims trainer.
Her surviving husband, Jeff Latham, said his late wife was dedicated to her work at Centene and believed that knowledge is power, so her retirement account was an opportunity to show appreciation to her friends at Centene for “their amazing display of affection and generosity.”
The Judy Steska-Latham Memorial Scholarship will be awarded each fall and spring semester to a child or grandchild of a Centene Corporation employee, and is intended specifically for attendance at Mineral Area College. Preference will be given to women, however, the scholarship is not limited to women.
The funds can be utilized to pay for required textbooks, tuition, fees, or College Park on-campus housing for a full-time, degree-seeking student in academic good standing enrolled in 12 hours or more per semester.
“Judy’s estate provides for the family she loved, but she had another family she loved and that was her family at Centene,” Mr. Latham said. “The idea for the memorial scholarship was from two of her close friends at Centene — Tony Myers (Sr. Director of Organizational Development and Training and MAC Foundation Board Member) and Sharon Brewer (Manager of Claims Human Resources). I hope the scholarship grows and eventually makes a difference in the lives of many who endeavor to provide for themselves and their families.”
Brewer said that since Mrs. Latham was predominantly responsible for the training and curriculum of front-end employees, “as a trainer, she touched almost every employee through her job, and as a friend to those that she never trained.
“The memorial scholarship presents a wonderful opportunity for descendants of Centene employees. Judy’s love for training and education will be realized through this legacy,” Brewer added.
Mr. Latham said he hoped to see the scholarship endowment grow and eventually make a difference in the lives of those who strive to provide for themselves and their families through education.
“I hope that each person who sees Judy’s name on the scholarship and wonders about who this person was, will have someone who personally knew Judy tell them how much she loved life and loved people-that she lived a life of Christ,” he said. “And she was just the funniest and happiest person ever.”
To make a donation to the memorial scholarship, make checks payable to MAC Foundation and mail them to Mineral Area College, PO Box 1000, Park Hills, MO 63601. For credit or debit card gifts, or for more information, call (573) 518-2261.