working mom from Virginia who is earning her doctorate degree online
in education is the winner of a $1,000 GetEducated.com and Core 4 Women online college scholarship
Danielle E. Williams, 32, is a community college liaison at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, VA; an adjunct professor at Tidewater Community College's Norfolk campus; and a mother of two children under age two.
She also is studying to obtain her online PhD degree
in education, specializing in organizational leadership and community college leadership, through a distance learning education program offered by Nova Southeastern University, based in Florida.
Williams is the first winner of the recently formed GetEducated.com and Core 4 Women online education scholarship program for women involved in distance learning.
GetEducated.com is a consumer website that publishes online college rankings and reviews of online degrees. Core 4 Women is a social networking site, aimed at helping women improve their lives through online education. GetEducated has teamed with Core 4 Women to grant free scholarships for women, many of whom are working moms.
Core 4 Women was founded in 2009 by Gail Weatherly, distance education coordinator at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. Weatherly is working on achieving official nonprofit status for the group, which has about 130 members, including both mentors and students.
"GetEducated has been phenomenal in helping us reach out to women who need to be involved in online learning," says Weatherly.
Vicky Phillips, founder of GetEducated.com, joined Core 4 Women as a mentor last year after hearing about Weatherly’s mission to use an online forum to create a safe space to educate and encourage women from all walks of life to consider online education.
Phillips herself is a first-generation college student whose mother never completed high school, and whose grandmother, though an avid reader, completed no formal education beyond the seventh grade.
Both Weatherly and Phillips believe in the power of education to change women's lives through greater access to ideas and economic empowerment.
Danielle Williams helps women at the Core 4 Women distance learning forum site by answering their questions and concerns about online university education.
"I feel it is important to mentor women through this organization because it's hard to be a woman with all of our many responsibilities; we are often pulled in many different directions," she says. "Women need other women to cheer them on because another woman knows what a sacrifice and how difficult it is to invest time, money, and energy in ourselves.
"Core 4 Women represents to me a much-needed support team of women who can be a resource, motivation, and support to women as they pursue their educational goals. Core 4 Women rocks!"
Williams says her "passion" is her part-time job teaching College Success Skills to nontraditional community college students.
"I have had all convicted felons in my class," says Williams. "I tell them they can do this, there is someone who believes in them, someone who is proud to say they know them regardless of things that happened to them in the past."
Teaching the course, she says, has "changed my life and my perspective about education—how valuable it really is."
Williams' mother was a teacher for 30 years. Yet, growing up, Williams never wanted to be a teacher herself, until a principal in Virginia urged her to give classroom teaching a try. Williams began teaching middle-schoolers and found she enjoyed it.
After earning a bachelors in English/mass communications from Virginia State University and a masters in journalism from Norfolk State University, Williams decided to pursue her online doctorate in education.
"I'd never taken an online course before," she says. But she learned how to use the technology during a visit to Nova's Florida campus, which she says "helped immensely."
Now, as the mother of a nine-month-old daughter and one-year-old son, she appreciates having the option to attend college online."It has allowed me to be a wife and mom in Virginia and a student in Florida."
Williams' goal is to work at a community college, perhaps as dean of student services; she wants a job that will allow her to "connect with students on a regular basis. If I'm the dean, I can assign myself a course to teach!"
GetEducated.com is continuing to offer scholarships for moms and members Core 4 Women; visit Core4Women.org
for more information.
GetEducated also offers a public Excellence in Online Education College Scholarship to U.S. citizens enrolled in distance learning degree programs who are earning at least a 3.0 grade point average.
Deadline for this scholarship is Oct. 15 each year. Visit GetEducated.com
for more information.Related Resources
GetEducated.com Free Online Scholarships for Core 4 Women Members
GetEducated.com Online Education Scholarship Program
Best Online Education & Distance Learning Scholarships
The Best Online College Grant and Free Money Financial Aid ProgramsOnline College Grant & Online College Scholarships GuideResources for Online College Education Student Loans & Loan ProgramsCut Online Degree Cost & Increase Online College Affordability
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