A couple of months ago my dad took me out for a cup of coffee at our favorite local spot. He asked if I was going to apply for a scholarship to attend the NAA’s Conference & Show. Even though things have been going well, I knew in my “I just started a business during a pandemic” bank account that there. was no way I would be attending C&S without some financial support. Unless, of course, I wanted to stay in the cheapest and lowest-rated Airbnb across downtown and walk late at night because I can’t afford city parking yet. I started the application right away.
I am very honored to have received a scholarship from the NAF this year. It allowed me to attend this year’s C&S in person in Minneapolis. This scholarship gave me a chance to soak up high level education, to connect with so many amazing auctioneers and now mentors, and land a few job opportunities. On top of those amazing experiences, I also met multiple new friends. Because I didn’t have to worry about sneaking off to eat peanut butter sandwiches every meal (one of my original plans), I was able to spend my own money to attend the women’s luncheon—one of the most inspirational highlights of my week. Later, I bought a coffee for one of my new connections. A simple little thing, like a coffee, made me feel that my work and presence could help make another’s day a great experience, too.
My scholarship allowed me get in the Starbucks line without worrying about my bank account, and to make a small connection that I never would have made without the money donated to NAF. So, thank you to everyone who donates. You might not always see what happens with your money. But to me, I won’t forget the experience of attending C&S for a long time.
Calli McCartan, C&S scholarship recipient