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Working Mom Wins GetEducated Core 4 Women Online College Scholarship



A Free Online Degree for Working Mothersworking mom from Virginia who is earning her doctorate degree online in education is the winner of a $1,000 and Core4Women 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 and Core4Women online education scholarship program for women involved in distance learning. (Editor’s Note: The Core4Women program is temporarily closed for the remainder of 2013. For another great scholarship opportunity open to distance learning students, please see the Online College Scholarship.) is a consumer website that publishes online college rankings and reviews of online degrees. Core4Women is a social networking site, aimed at helping women improve their lives through online education. GetEducated has teamed with Core4Women to grant free scholarships for women, many of whom are working moms.{{ad102}}

Core4Women 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.

“Get Educated has been phenomenal in helping us reach out to women who need to be involved in online learning,” says Weatherly.

Vicky Phillips, founder of, joined Core4Women 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.

Online College Scholarships for WomenPhillips 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 Core4Women 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.

“Core4Women 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. Core4Women 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 bachelor’s in English/mass communications from Virginia State University and a master’s 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 also offers a public 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 and March 15 each year. Visit for more information. Online Education Scholarship Program
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