SNF Scholarship Series: Martha Silverthorn, Scholarship Recipient


The following is an excerpt from the 2015 SNF Scholarship Series on the Beyond Breakfast Blog.

Today, Martha Silverthorn is the Director of Food Services for Griffith (Ind.) Public Schools, but it doesn’t seem like all that long ago that she was applying for her first position in school foodservice—secretary. In truth, the journey from secretary to foodservice director took Silverthorn twelve years, and she knew early on that to become a director she would need more education.

“I always say I didn’t choose school foodservice, it chose me!” said Silverthorn. “I applied for a substitute position, and the director asked me to come in and be her secretary. That was in the fall, and by summer I was running their summer foodservice program.”

Under the mentorship of her new boss, Silverthorn blossomed.

“With her encouragement I then started looking at education, and what I would need to become director someday,” explained Silverthorn. “When I applied for that first [SNF] scholarship I hadn’t actually decided to get a degree yet! I didn’t know if I could handle it—working 50+ hours per week, we had three kids, and we’d just completed a major move from Michigan to Indiana.”

An online hospitality management certificate program through Penn State caught Silverthorn’s eye. “I did that for a year. I believe that year I got a $500 scholarship from SNA, and I decided to go ahead and pursue my associate’s degree.”

“It took me five years to complete my associates degree, but I stayed determined [with the help of Penn State professor—and SNA member—Beth Egan],” recalled Silverthorn. Taking one or two classes at a time, Silverthorn continued to apply for SNA/SNF scholarships to help her offset the cost of attending college.

“Without SNA I could never have gone back to school—raising three kids, I just wouldn’t have been able to,” said Martha. “That’s what membership means—support is always there when you need it.”

To read the full story on Martha Silverthorn, visit the Beyond Breakfast Blog. To learn more about SNF’s professional development and conference scholarships, click here.

For over 30 years, the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) has been raising funds to provide scholarships to SNA members. Donate to the SNF Annual Fund to help SNA members achieve their educational dreams!

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