Dear Governor Gary Locke,
You don’t know me, but you changed my life for the better during your time as governor, and I wanted to personally thank you for helping me out.
My name is Mike Kreiger and I was born and raised in Spokane. Neither of my parents went to college, and we didn’t make much money. Calling us middle class would be slightly generous, but my parents were hard-working (and still are to this day), very loving, and made sure I always worked hard in school.
When it came time to pick a college, I had many options since I was in the top five percent of my graduating class at Central Valley High School in 1999, but money was tight. It didn’t look like we could pay for school, but then I applied and was honored to receive the “Gary Locke Promise Scholarship”. That two-year stipend for a total of about $2700 dollars allowed me to attend Washington State University.
Thanks to your program during your impressive term as governor. You helped thousands of people. But I just wanted to personally say “Thank You” for reaching a much-needed hand to the people who really need it most — the people like the Kreiger family who made too much to get any FAFSA help, but didn’t make enough to pay for college. The Promise Scholarship truly changed my life, and I wanted to let you know you made a huge impact on my education and my future.
As for an update on me, I graduated Magna Cum Laude at WSU with a degree in Communications (Broadcasting) in 2003. Last year, I married my college sweetheart Erin and we just bought a little place in West Seattle. Immediately after graduating WSU, I worked at Northwest Cable News, then KING 5 News in Seattle for the last 6 years until I was a victim of the tough economic times and was laid off along with 150 of my co-workers back in March. That was devastating, but everything happens for a reason.
Now’s the time for me to do something positive and give back to the community. I’m coaching football at West Seattle High School and taking community college classes to work on my endorsements so I can go to the University of Washington next year and get my masters in teaching (and a much-needed teaching certificate). So many teachers, professors, and people like you made a positive influence in my life, and I hope I can do the same once I get back on my feet as a History/English teacher and coach.
Thank you very much for helping me along the way. Life’s a journey and you never really know who’s going to lend a helping hand, but I want to personally thank you for making my education at WSU change from a dream to a reality for me. Congratulations on being named to President Obama’s Cabinet. I know you’ll make a fabulous U.S. Secretary of Commerce. My wife and I wanted to be there to celebrate with you Saturday in the International District, but I’ll be in Cheney coaching the West Seattle Wildcats football team at our summer camp. Take care, good luck, God bless, and thank you for everything!
When I first heard that you would be the interim executive director for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, I assumed you would be just a figure head for the foundation. I soon realized that I was totally wrong in my thought process.
I can not begin to express how much your friendship means to me and how you have touched so many other breast cancer survivors. I will be the voice for my “survivor sisters.”
The fact that you and your family have not been personally touched by breast cancer speaks volumes about your empathy as a person. You embraced our stories of diagnosis, treatment, and our journey of hope while bringing a spirit of joy to us each day. You helped us make each day of our trip a blessing by lending an ear and opening your soul.
Admiration is not achieved through hard work unless the person has a genuine value, a warm heart, an indisputable moral fiber and the ability, and courage to be honest and loving. You have these attributes and more Mona, and I truly admire you and all your strengths. You are a wonderful wife, devoted mother, sister, daughter, and most of all … a wonderful friend. I will miss your great sense of humor (I’m still the funny one!) and your beautiful smile. I know you will take those qualities everywhere you go and to everyone you meet.
Wishing you success and fun with your new adventure in the “other” Washington!