Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rio Salado Student Receives Paralegal Scholarship

Rio Salado College student Kelli Burson received the 2015 Paralegal Scholarship from the Maricopa County Bar Foundation

Burson is currently enrolled in Rio Salado's paralegal certificate program, and will use the $1,000 scholarship for tuition, books, and other school expenses. Burson started at Rio Salado in January 2015.
Burson was recommended for the scholarship by her Rio Salado instructor Melissa Koch, who wrote, “I sincerely recommend Kelli to be considered for this scholarship, for which she has evidenced through her effective communication and organizational skills that she will excel in a paralegal career.”

Angela Kwan, faculty chair for Rio Salado’s paralegal program, added, “We are very proud of Kelli and wish her continued good fortune in her studies and future career.”

Burson, one of two people to receive the scholarship, said it was easy to choose Rio Salado College to continue her education.

“Rio Salado has a great reputation in higher and continuing education,” Burson said. “They offer the paralegal certificate program, with the option of continuing on for an associate degree. And finally, Rio’s online classes suit my needs as a mother and caregiver.”

Burson decided to return to school to pursue a career in the paralegal field after a real-world experience.

“My husband and I were involved in a family law case where I did a lot of paperwork for court myself,” Burson said. “I enjoyed the minutia or small details of preparing and organizing documents for court.”

Burson even has a job lined up when she completes the program.

“My neighbor and dear friend is a lawyer and owns a law practice,” Burson said. “She offered me a job at her firm upon completion of the paralegal program. That was incentive to get the ball rolling and dive head first into a fabulous paralegal career.”

Burson, who maintains a 3.8 GPA, is taking 9 credits per semester, and plans on completing the degree program. She is especially grateful to receive the Maricopa County Bar Foundation Scholarship.
“The scholarship award means quite a bit to me and I am so honored to have been chosen as the recipient,” Burson said.
image of Burson with family

She added, “I have four beautiful daughters, I am a wife, and also help care for my grandmother with dementia. My husband works hard, but money is tight with a large family. Thanks to Rio Salado, I have found a balance to juggling school along with these other wonderful tasks I have been blessed with.”

Rio Salado offers a certificate and associate degree in paralegal studies. Online classes start most Mondays. To learn more visit

By Mira Radovich, Communications Coordinator at Rio Salado College.