Achieving the Dream Awards Scholarship to Recognize Students’ Perseverance

Silver Spring, MD (May 29, 2019) – Achieving the Dream (ATD) has awarded the second annual Harvey Lincoln Scholarship to two students, Chioma Oghenekome of Suffolk County Community College (NY) and Devanee Matcham of West Hills College Coalinga (CA).

Ms. Oghenekome was honored May 14th during Suffolk’s Student Recognition Banquet, and Ms. Matcham received her award on May 3rd at West Hills’ Scholarship Ceremony. They will each receive a $1,000 award to apply to any cost related to attending college, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, or living expenses.

A Liberal Arts General Studies major who served as Suffolk County’s student commencement speaker on May 23, Ms. Oghenekome will transfer to Adelphi University in the fall to pursue a nursing degree. As a Peer Mentor, she assisted with New Student Orientation, and helped new students transition to college by teaching them about campus clubs and services available to them at Suffolk. In addition, Ms. Oghenekome served as Vice President for Service for Phi Theta Kappa, where she was responsible for creating and planning service projects for her peers. Despite serving in a "head of household' role since she was a teenager, Ms. Oghenekome has excelled as a college student. She displays commitment and resiliency as she has persisted from remedial to college level math while maintaining a 3.8 GPA and actively giving back to her community in various capacities.

Ms. Matcham is a recent graduate of West Hills College Coalinga in California’s San Juaquin Valley. After surviving a traumatic experience, she used education and civic engagement to help develop more resilience. As a supplemental instructor for her former English professor, a student government leader, and volunteer, she inspires her peers to do the same. Ms. Matcham’s drive to support others is evident in her volunteer work with English Language Learners, where she helps community members develop English language skills, and at home, where she provides supports for her younger sibling. She graduated from West Hills College Coalinga on Friday, May 24, and will transfer to UCLA in the fall to continue her studies.

“Chioma and Devanee are shining examples of the talent and the promise that is within each of us. Their institutions saw that promise and gave them the support they needed to succeed,” said ATD Senior Vice President Carol Lincoln, whose late husband Harvey is honored through the scholarship fund.

ATD President and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout said, “I’m so proud to have the opportunity to recognize Chioma and Devanee, two outstanding young women who don’t let even the toughest obstacles stop them from pursuing their goals. Harvey knew that every community college has students like Chioma and Devanee, and we want to lift them up – and Harvey – through this Scholarship Fund.”

The Harvey Lincoln Scholarship honors the late husband of ATD Senior Vice President, Carol Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln, a volunteer 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 provides financial support for students at ATD Network institutions who have persisted in their studies despite educational, personal, or financial obstacles. Students must be nominated by staff, faculty, or administrators from their college.

Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 277 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 44 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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