Walking Tall

Danyelle Henderson ’20 has never shied away from a challenge, no matter how big.

When she graduates, she’ll be looking for another challenge: a job in a struggling school district, teaching students whose experiences mirror her own.

The child of a single mother who worked long hours to make ends meet. The first person in her family to go to college. A student who’s had to hold down multiple jobs to pay her tuition.

She’s come to understand that education is worth the sacrifice and that—as was the case for her—teachers often inspire their students to reach beyond themselves and set goals that seem unattainable.

In recognition of her dedication to education and its ability to help people rise above their beginnings, Henderson has been awarded one of Longwood’s highest honors for students: the 2018 Moton Legacy Scholarship.

The scholarship is awarded annually to a Longwood student with great promise for a life and career of citizen leadership, advancing in a contemporary context the ideals espoused by those who fought for equal opportunity in Longwood’s home communities of Farmville and Prince Edward during the civil rights era. It covers full tuition for one year.

“Danyelle is one of the hardest-working students I’ve encountered,” said Dr. David Coles, professor of history, who nominated Henderson for the scholarship. “When she sets her sights on a goal, she does whatever it takes to attain it, and she will make for a wonderful teacher when she graduates.”

Henderson’s journey to a college degree has been difficult, to say the least. Falling back on a work ethic imparted to her by her mother, she has worked multiple jobs—including tutoring fellow students and delivering pizzas— while maintaining a 3.86 GPA during her first three years. She is also a member of the Cormier Honors College, in Phi Alpha Theta and Pi Sigma Alpha honors societies, and has earned several academic merit-based scholarships for her classroom achievements.

“My mother worked several jobs to make ends meet and always pushed me to work at my education—she knew it was important,” Henderson said. “It was my teachers, though, who taught me that school could be really enjoyable. All of them changed my life, and, if it weren’t for them, I probably wouldn’t be on this path. I want to be that for future generations of students.”

To find out how you can help a deserving student, please contact Institutional Advancement at gifts@longwood.edu.

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