31 F
Delaware
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Taking one class a year for 10 years, this Fresh Start Scholar earns college degree

Must Read

State to ramp up vaccines for teachers, has given 253,535 doses of vaccine

253,535 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered as of Friday, the state said.

Schools hope summer programs, support will avoid students being held back

  Droves of students will not be held back because of interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Delaware educators say. Instead,...

Do More 24 shatters record in first three hours, ends with 5 times last year’s total

The grand total for the 2021 event will be announced Saturday by 8 p.m.
Christy Fleming
Christy Fleming
The managing editor of TownSquareDelaware.com, Christy Fleming also supports a variety of non-profit initiatives in Delaware. Her background includes positions in public relations, advertising and journalism.

Stella Harrison took one class at a time over 10 years to earn her college degree

Stella Harrison isn’t just the first woman in her family to earn a college degree. She also pursued her degree at the same time her granddaughter enrolled in college — the two overlapped by one semester at DelTech.

Harrison, 57, took the long road toward earning her degree — taking one course per year for the last 10 years. Remarkable for anyone but especially so for the mother, grandmother and full-time employee who saw no other way to balance work, life and her pursuit of a lifelong dream.

“This has really changed my life and the way the future of my family goes. Before I graduated, I had a granddaughter who started college. She saw what her grandmother went through, and I told her it won’t be as hard for her as it was for me. And now she’s seen me graduate! I always encourage and help her along the way, and she’s determined she’s going to get her degree in psychology. So I’m happy about that,” said Harrison.

 

Harrison, who now works for the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, is one of nine Fresh Start Scholars who earned her degree this year. The Fresh Start Scholarship Foundation makes returning to school possible for women like Harrison, who found a spate of recent jobs unfulfilling. 

She spent seven years as a correctional officer, a dozen years as a member of the Delaware National Guard, and held a variety of jobs that she says “you wouldn’t want to do long term.” She had temp jobs in banks, she made car seats for Chrysler, and she did warehousing work. “I did all kinds of work that wasn’t really meaningful for me,” she says.

 

She says she will never forget the day a co-worker at one of her jobs suggested that Harrison consider going after a college degree by applying for a Fresh Start Scholarship. Her colleague had just earned her college degree and was primed to start a new, better-paying position elsewhere.

“I think of this as just the greatest blessing. I mean they [Fresh Start] pretty much paid for all of it. I put out money for books and different labs and stuff like that. But they paid the bulk of it.”  She says the degree “will definitely help me get promoted.”

The 2020 Fresh Start Scholar Grads: Top row, l to r: Christina Salvato, Sharon Toohey and Genisis Johnson. Middle row, l to r: Kira Johnson, Roselyn Bain and Jasmine Torres. Bottom row, l to r: Stella Harrison, Ashley Brown and Alyssa Raikowski.

This month, the Fresh Start Scholarship Foundation would have recognized the nine scholar graduates with a joyous, family-centered graduation. However, due to the Covid pandemic, the milestone event was canceled.

But Fresh Start Founder Mary Maloney and members of the Board of Directors felt the nine scholar graduates should still receive their well-deserved recognition. So they are promoting #FreshStart2020Grads campaign, which celebrates their achievements but also honors the perseverance and determination it took to obtain their goals in light of obstacles and unexpected challenges brought on by the pandemic.

The scholar grads will also be recognized on October 15, 2020, during the foundation’s signature fundraising event Rising Stars.

 

Cheers to the following Fresh Start scholar graduates:

Roselyn Bain
Bachelor of Science – Behavioral Science
Wilmington University

Ashley Brown
Bachelor of Science – Behavioral Science
Wilmington University

Genesis Johnson
Bachelor of Science – Behavioral Science
Wilmington University

Kira Johnson
Associate of Arts – Liberal Studies
Wilmington University

Christina Salvato
Associate in Applied Science – Marketing
Delaware Technical Community College

Stella Harrison
Associate in Applied Science –
Human Services
Delaware Technical Community College

Sharon Toohey
Associate in Applied Science – Business
Delaware Technical Community College

Alyssa Raikowski
Bachelor of Arts – Psychology, cum laude
Goldey-Beacom College

Jasmine Torres
Bachelor of Science – Nursing
Wesley College

 

The organization anticipates awarding over 40 scholarships to deserving Delaware women when they announce the Fresh Start 2020-2021 scholarship recipients later this summer. 

If you know someone seeking to improve their life through a college education, visit www.freshstartscholarship.org to review the eligibility criteria. Proceeds from the October 15 Rising Stars event will benefit scholarships for future Delaware women in financial need.

If you would like to donate to the Fresh Start Scholarship program, click here.

- Thank you to our sponsor -
- Thank you to our sponsor -
- Thank you to our sponsor -

Latest News

State to ramp up vaccines for teachers, has given 253,535 doses of vaccine

253,535 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered as of Friday, the state said.

Schools hope summer programs, support will avoid students being held back

  Droves of students will not be held back because of interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Delaware educators say. Instead, schools will bear down on...

Do More 24 shatters record in first three hours, ends with 5 times last year’s total

The grand total for the 2021 event will be announced Saturday by 8 p.m.
- Thank you to our sponsor -
- Thank you to our sponsor -

More Articles Like This

%d bloggers like this: