Woman bashes Mike Rowe’s ‘work ethic scholarship.’ Rowe’s response couldn’t be more perfect.

Woman bashes Mike Rowe’s ‘work ethic scholarship.’ Rowe’s response couldn’t be more perfect.
Woman bashes Mike Rowe's scholarship, which requires a work ethic pledge. He hits back with perfect response. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

Mike Rowe is awarding more than a half million dollars in scholarship money this year to students earning degrees in skilled trades. But there’s just one caveat: lazy, self-entitled students need not apply.

Rowe asks all applicants to sign his “S.W.E.A.T” pledge, which stands for “Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo.”

But one mother whose son was applying for Rowe’s scholarship took issue with the pledge and wrote on the TV hosts’ Facebook page bashing it. Rowe’s response couldn’t have been more perfect.

What did the woman say?

Karyn Segal, whose son aspires to be a welder, told Rowe she was appalled when her son showed her the “sweat pledge” requirement.

“Where did you come up with this nonsense? There are so many things wrong with this document I don’t even know where to begin!! Suffice it to say, we will not be applying!!!” she wrote.

How did Rowe respond?

With eloquence and grace, as he always does.

He began his lengthy response by explaining Segal isn’t the first parent to take issue with the pledge.

“Over the years, it’s been my sad duty to inform lots of angry parents that this particular pile of free money might not be for them, or for their children,” Rowe wrote.

Rowe wished her son success in his career, then dropped a reality check, writing:

But to be clear, I have absolutely no interest in paying for his training if doesn’t share my opinions on the importance of hard ethic, a positive attitude, delayed gratification, and personal responsibility. Sorry — I made a promise to the people who contribute to this fund, and I can’t bend the rules. Fortunately, lots of scholarship funds will hand out money with no strings attached, and if you poke around, I’m sure you’ll find one that’s more in line with your worldview.

Rowe goes on to explain in the next five paragraphs the purpose behind the pledge and why he believes those 10 qualities are important for young Americans to embody. At the end, Rowe noted that he posted the same letter last year, but is reposting it because he’s getting similar complaints this year.

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