Achieving the Dream Awards Scholarship to Recognize Student Persistence Despite Obstacles

Rose State College Nursing Student Wins $1,000 from Harvey Lincoln Scholarship Fund

Silver Spring, MD (May 11, 2018) – Achieving the Dream (ATD) today awarded the first Harvey Lincoln Scholarship to Rose State College (OK) nursing student RaShayla Walker, a single mother, Habitat for Humanity volunteer, and first in her family with college graduation in sight.

Ms. Walker will be honored at a luncheon on May 11 following Rose State College’s commencement ceremony. She will receive $1,000 to apply to any cost related to attending college, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, or living expenses.

Ms. Walker, a self-described “older student,” has persisted in her college studies 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 several years ago.

In fall of 2017, she began her studies in the Rose State College nursing program while juggling full-time work and care of her two young children. After struggling to balance all of her responsibilities, she  withdrew from the program and then reapplied to continue her studies after  “making some adjustments to assure [she] would be successful.” Ms. Walker now works part-time, meets with a tutor two or three times a week, and participates in the TRIO program, a federal program that provides support services to low-income, first-generation, and students with disabilities from middle school through the baccalaureate degree.

Ms. Walker says she is fulfilling the promise that she made to her younger brother who passed away in August 2016. She says her brother “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.”

“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. Created by Achieving the Dream in 2017, the Scholarship Fund is making its first award to Ms. Walker.

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.”

The Scholarship provides financial support for students who have persisted in their studies despite educational, personal, or financial obstacles and attend an ATD institution. Students must be nominated by staff, faculty, or administrators from their college.

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Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 300 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing equity gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with nearly 75 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 45 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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