#GivingTuesday at Achieving the Dream Means Preparing to Change Lives

Earlier this year, Achieving the Dream awarded its first Harvey Lincoln Student Scholarship for community college students using funds raised during #GivingTuesday 2017 to RaShayla Walker, a nursing student, single mom, Habitat for Humanity volunteer, and first in her family with college graduation in sight. RaShayla had persisted in her college studies at Oklahoma’s Rose State College for more than ten years despite breaks to work full-time to support herself and her family and to recover from the trauma of being robbed at gunpoint.

With the help of the Harvey Lincoln Student Scholarship, RaShayla’s life has changed. Now she is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a nurse and spending more time with her young children. RaShayla says she is fulfilling the promise she made to her younger brother who passed away in August 2016 who “would always tell me how he was so proud of me continuing to go to school and that he knew I would be an excellent nurse.” She wants “to be able to set an example for my siblings and kids.”

#GivingTuesday contributions will help increase the Scholarship fund, which provides financial support for students who have persisted in their studies despite educational, personal, or financial obstacles and attend an Achieving the Dream institution. Students must be nominated by staff, faculty, or administrators from their college.

“RaShayla is a shining example of the talent and the promise that is within each of us. Rose State saw that promise and gave her the support she needed to succeed,” said ATD Senior Vice President Carol Lincoln, whose late husband Harvey is honored through the scholarship fund.

Mr. Lincoln, who always volunteered at ATD’s annual DREAM conference, was a strong advocate for low-income students and students of color.

At the time of the award in May, ATD President and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout said, “I’m so proud to have the opportunity to recognize RaShayla, an amazing student who doesn’t let even the toughest obstacles stop her from pursuing her goals. Harvey knew that every community college has students like RaShayla, and we want to lift them up – and Harvey – through this Scholarship Fund.”

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