Meet JRF's Rising Stars - Our Scholars!
Nichole is working towards her Bachelor's in Education, and plans to teach in a local school working with special needs students after she graduates! She saw a need for change in the education system and found her dream in going to school to help be a part of that change. Her goal is to work within the school system to bridge the gap between home and school for special needs students, their parents, and their teachers. She says, "I have truly been blessed by the scholarship I have received. Every step of the way, my calling has been confirmed through support and financial aid. I am honored to call myself a Jeannette Rankin Scholarship recipient."
Sheila is currently working towards her Bachelor's in Psychology! Sheila exemplifies what it means to be a strong woman, having battled addiction and surviving homelessness, domestic violence, and repeated jail time. Now, as an honors student, she gives back to her community while also finishing her degree, mentoring women who are in recovery from addiction and abuse. Sheila, as a non-traditional student, has seen the impact of her decision to go back to school firsthand, as it helped to encourage both her sister and daughter to also go to college. She says "It makes me happy to see that my decision to go to college has had a good influence on the people around me."
Tiffany B., Early Childhood Education
Tiffany is finishing her Associates in Applied Science in Early Childhood Care and Education, and will then move into working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. She doesn’t plan to stop there either- when she has completed these two degrees, she plans to continue and obtain her Master’s degree in Elementary Education! Tiffany has incredible persistence, and is taking every step possible to earn the degrees that will open doors to secure employment where she can teach and empower the next generation of students.
As a child, Tiffany endured abuse, neglect, hunger, homelessness, and eventually was put into foster care due to her mother’s drug addictions. She went to 13 different schools growing up, and found herself pregnant at age 15 with no real guidance on where to go from there.
“Broken children often become broken adults. I carried a lot of my childhood wounds into my adulthood, which lead to poor decisions and broken relationships. But, at the age of 30 I decided I could no longer live as a victim of my childhood, living with shackles on my hands and feet. I wanted to be FREE. So for the last 7 years, I’ve been working to put myself back together piece by piece. I realized that I wanted so much more for my life and that it was past time for me to step out and do something different to better my life.
Going to school and getting my teaching degree had always tugged on my heart. In 2017 at age 35, I decided to step out on faith, leave my job, and go back to school. Even though it hasn’t been the easiest journey so far, it has definitely been the most rewarding decision of my life.”
Vanessa V., Nursing
Vanessa is working towards her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing and her dream is to become a Nurse Practitioner! Through hard work and taking time to figure out what her dreams were, Vanessa was able to set goals to go back to school and work toward what she's doing now! She wants to use her degree to better her community by identifying local needs and resources. She says "My top priority is to change the world one day at a time and one patient at a time."