Guardian Angel Plumber Gives Scholarships to Kids With Parents in Jail

It can already be tough growing up without a parent – let alone trying to finance your own way through college without parental help. That’s why Karl Winsness is lending a hand. As a means of helping out local kids, Winsness created the only scholarship in the country that is given exclusively to children with incarcerated parents. Winsness, who calls his educational gift the “Willy the Plumber Scholarship”, only makes about $30,000 working as a plumber. The father of two says that he is able to afford the scholarship by living a relatively modest lifestyle. Winsness spreads word of the scholarship simply by spreading homemade fliers around Salem, Utah. While the sum of the grant is only about $1,000, the 17 recipients of the scholarship say that the financial boost means a great deal to their own wallets – as well as their self-esteem. One of the youths whose parents both went to jail when she was 5 years old said: “You get really down on yourself, people judge you, and you just feel like you can’t do anything. Then, all of a sudden, you have this random stranger who believes in you and knows that you’re not who your parents are.”

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