Amanda Imberi is a hard worker. The former Modern Woodmen scholarship recipient has a full-time job and fills her weekends with speaking engagements for the American Cancer Society.
This Eureka, S.D., native’s drive comes partly from the loss of her mother to colon cancer when Amanda was 9.
“Most parents can only see what their children are doing when they’re in their sight,” Amanda says. “But my mom can see me every second of every day. My biggest goal is to not disappoint her.”
One way Amanda accomplished this goal was by attending college.
After her mother died, Amanda and her sister took over most household tasks. Their father couldn’t read or write well, so Amanda and her sister were responsible for paying the bills, cooking, cleaning and doing grocery shopping.
There was little money in Amanda’s family, and her father was working two minimum-wage jobs to make ends meet. Amanda applied for college scholarships with fervor as she ended high school.
“Scholarships were what made it possible for me to attend college,” she says. “I’m so grateful to organizations like Modern Woodmen for making that happen. Modern Woodmen truly makes a profound impact in people’s lives.”
Amanda was the first person on her father’s side to graduate from college. She earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., in May of 2009.
“Education broke down doors for me,” Amanda says. “It opened my eyes to the world.”
Amanda now works as a technician for VisionCare, because she enjoys interacting with people and being in the health care field. However, she says her true passion is in motivational speaking. Her job at VisionCare gives her the weekends free and allows her to speak at American Cancer Society events about the loss of her mother.
“You can overcome the obstacles you’ve dealt with in life,” Amanda says. “You can work hard, move forward and learn about yourself in the process.”