WomenRise Scholarship Recipients

WomenRise is a local United Way scholarship program that provides financial assistance to help single moms cover the cost of childcare while they work toward a post-secondary degree or credential. The scholarships cover the cost of direct care services per child during the time the mother is enrolled in classes or a training program. Read more about each participant and their goals below. 

2022 Scholarships

2022 WomenRise scholarships will be announced this summer.

2021 Scholarships

During the WomenRise pilot in 2021, we awarded $64,000 in childcare scholarships to six single mothers to assist them in completing their education or train for a better job. 

Sheryl Harvey has been working as a Certified Nursing Assistant since 11th grade, recently winning Care Partner of the Year on her floor at VCU. As the mother of two young children ages 3 and 4, Sheryl has been working to take the classes required to become a registered nurse. She plans to use her WomenRise scholarship to cover the cost of child care while she completes the nursing program at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

E’moni Johnson currently works at a daycare facility in Richmond. She is currently working toward her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Kindergarten Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, with plans to graduate in 2023. She plans to use her WomenRise scholarship to support childcare for her three-year-old daughter while she completes her education.

“My elementary school teachers made me who I am today. Because of them, I have always had a passion to teach kids and help them just like my teachers did for me. I want to make a difference in the world for kids that don’t think they have anyone to look up to.”

Jasmine Phanelson is working to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, with a long-term goal of becoming a Registered Nurse that works in underserved communities. She will be attending Bryant and Stratton College in Richmond this fall as she works toward a credential in Licensed Practical Nursing. A single mother with a seven-year-old son, Jasmine is determined to succeed in her educational journey.

“When I lost my grandmother, I made up my mind that I wanted to pursue a career that would help people and provide financial stability for my family. As a single mother, I have to put my goals to the side to make sure my son has what he needs, but I believe I have what it takes to become a nurse. This scholarship will help me stay focused on school without stressing about how I will pay for childcare.”

Titilayo Sampson is a single mother looking for a second chance. She was pursuing a degree in hospitality and tourism management but dropped out during her junior year. After her son was born in 2020, Titilayo realized she needed to go back to school and complete her degree to provide a better future for her family. She plans to continue at Norfolk State University this fall with the goal of earning a Bachelor’s degree in 2022.

Kaytie Whyte is a mother of three kids ages 3-14. After working her way out of an abusive relationship, Kaytie found herself with limited career options, so she turned to her family for help and inspiration. Kaytie enrolled in a two-year nursing program at John Tyler Community College and is working toward her Associate’s degree in nursing.

“This scholarship will provide opportunities for me, but it will also offer relief and flexibility for my aging parents, who have both been sacrificing and working hard to provide care for me and my children.”

Kristen Williamson has been working to become a nurse for many years. Her father was a firefighter and her mother was a nurse, which instilled Kristen with a lifelong passion for helping people. She has completed various certifications and worked in multiple healthcare positions, but a series of setbacks has made it difficult to complete her educational journey. With two children to care for, Kristen is more committed than ever to completing the coursework necessary to earn her Associate’s degree in nursing at John Tyler Community College.

“When I was in a horrible car accident, I realized the importance of safe, quality health care. That appreciation deepened when I found myself caring for my mother after a kidney transplant. These life experiences have opened my eyes to where I want to go in life, which is why I am committed to finishing nursing school and becoming a registered nurse.”

Help More Moms: Give Today

Your support determines the number of WomenRise scholarship recipients and the amount of each scholarship. Make a gift to United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg to help us grow this important new program 

There is no gift too small! Every act of generosity makes a difference. Gifts of $1,000 or more will qualify for enrollment in our Women United giving community, which serves as the backbone group of planners and leaders for WomenRise