Two St. Louis Community College students will be attending Washington University after receiving the Elizabeth Gray Danforth Scholarship.
Rashonda Daniels, who is studying art at STLCC-Florissant Valley, and Joe Gorman, who attends STLCC-Meramec, were chosen as the recipients of this year’s scholarships. Daniels and Gorman competed with students from all disciplines for this two-year, full-tuition scholarship.
“I was speechless and then the excitement settled in. I still can’t believe it, but it’s one of the best feelings I have had in a long time,” Daniels said.
Daniels will display some of her artwork in the upcoming 2017 Annual Student Exhibit in the Contemporary Art Gallery on campus. The exhibit, which features a number of students in addition to Daniels, runs April 24-May 5.
When asked where she gets her inspiration, Daniels said it came from many places but mainly from her three-year-old son, who has autism. Much of her artwork pertains to the journey the two have taken in dealing with autism. Daniels’ art has given her a healthy outlet to express all the feelings and emotions she experiences.
“All of my experience at STLCC-Florissant Valley is what has gotten me here today,” said Daniels. “Coming to this campus was one of the best decisions I could’ve ever made when it comes to education.”
To watch a video about the work that Daniels has done recently, click here.
Gorman will graduate with honors this month. He served as the vice president of leadership with Meramec’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter this past year. He also has served as a peer tutor and peer mentor with the TRIO program on campus since last summer. He is one of the founding members of the Student Social Action Committee on campus, which advocates for progressive change on campus and in the community.
Gorman had many obstacles to overcome en route to his success at STLCC.
“I began at STLCC as a 17-year-old, two-time high school dropout who barely scraped enough credit together to graduate from the Missouri options program, so I’ve had a really challenging college experience, particularly where math is concerned,” Gorman said. “However, I’ve really grown to love it and consider it a big accomplishment in my academic career. Outside of the classroom, I struggled with substance abuse when I was in high school, so overcoming that with the help of a whole bunch of really wonderful people has ultimately made all of this possible for me.”
Gorman will be studying political science in the fall, and plans to go to law school in future. Ultimately, he’d like to practice civil rights law and criminal defense.
The Elizabeth Gray Danforth Scholarship, originally named the Women’s Society Scholarship, is awarded annually to students graduating from St. Louis Community College and transferring to Washington University in St. Louis.