Women Helping Women
Student Nicole Brown Receives Scholarship
Female students often face unique challenges when it comes to furthering their education. The rigors of school are intense and sometimes leave students feeling overextended. Barriers to success may include family and home challenges, a lack of financial and emotional support or other challenges. When a woman overcomes such challenges, she becomes a model for her entire family, from her parents and siblings to her spouse – and perhaps most significantly – for her children.
One source of encouragement and support is The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation Women's Philanthropy Circle (WPC) scholarships, worth $1,000 each. The scholarships are one important way the WPC helps to diminish barriers to higher education for women students.
Nicole Brown, currently enrolled at GCC, recently received one of these scholarships.
She started at GCC in fall 2013 after completing most of her coursework at Phoenix College (PC), where she will graduate this May with an associate degree. She has supplemented her GCC and PC education with courses from Rio Salado. “Being able to choose from offerings within the Maricopa system worked really well for me,” said Brown. “And GCC has provided a course schedule that is flexible enough for me to work with as a working adult.”
Brown, who is studying social work, applied for the WPC scholarship through the STARS program. She is grateful to receive this scholarship. “There are so many deserving women and I knew it must have been a hard choice,” she said.
While furthering her education was a priority for her, it didn’t come easy. During her college career, she ended a six-year relationship, lost and gained jobs and dealt with family issues. She recently adopted her niece, adding a new element to the mix. “It has been challenging juggling being a single Mom and providing the necessary emotional and financial support to my niece,” she said.
The scholarship has added a measure of confidence in her the ability to finish her associate degree with her finances intact. She used the funds to pay for textbooks, transportation and living expenses.
Immediately after graduation, Brown plans to start working on her Bachelors, either at Brescia online or at ASU. Eventually, she is considering both medical and military social work, spurred on by her admiration for professor Edward James III. “He has a passion for social work that has ignited my resolve to be the best social worker that I can,” said Brown.
She added, “GCC has an awesome campus that is easy to navigate and a student support services that really does offer good support. I learned I can succeed at anything as long as I do not give up.”