Returning adult students earn AAUW scholarships to pursue their dreams
The AAUW Wyandotte-Downriver branch awarded five annual scholarships to the winning applicants, who had to apply for the scholarship and submit an essay.
A 2009 alumna of Osborn High School in Detroit, Daneisha Jones is studying business administration at HFC and is expected to graduate in late 2020.
“Winning this scholarship is a great feeling. It will help me to achieve my educational goals here at HFC,” said Jones, who lives in Lincoln Park with her husband and two sons, 10 and 3.
Jones came to HFC because of its affordability and convenience. It’s also close to her home and her job. She currently works as an administrator at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
“I’ve always had an interest in an administrative career – it’s what I do best,” she said. “This degree will allow me to advance to a leadership administrative role.”
At HFC, one of her favorite teachers is speech instructor Doris Toney.
“I took a speech class during the Winter 2020 Semester,” said Jones. “Ms. Toney’s teaching style and commitment to getting students to be more comfortable and learn the objectives were unique. She was very committed and passionate. She challenged us to achieve at our highest potential.”
After graduating from HFC, Jones plans to continue her education at the University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM-Dearborn).
For Heather Rossi, HFC was the ideal school for changing careers, from one service field to another.
A certified Emergency Medical and Fire Dispatcher, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and Emergency Medical Dispatch Instructor, the Alpena High School alumna has been a first responder for almost 20 years.
Currently, she is an emergency dispatcher at Huron Valley Ambulance (HVA). Rossi is also a police and fire dispatcher for the City of Riverview. She is an area representative for ASSE International Exchange Programs, where she oversees and places international exchange students in local high schools. In fact, she and her husband, Daniel Lee Rossi, are currently hosting an international exchange student.
“I wanted to help people, and I always had an interest in the medical field. I took my EMT class during my senior year of high school and received my certification 10 days after my 18th birthday. I have been in emergency services for 18 years. I love the field. However, as I get older, I am able to see the deep need for more extensive social services in our community and those in crisis. I want to be a part of helping and supporting people beyond their original emergency,” said Rossi, of Trenton.
Rossi – whose husband and brother-in-law, Joseph Rossi, Jr., are also HFC alumni – graduated from HFC in August, earning her associate degree in liberal arts. This fall, she will transfer to Eastern Michigan University (EMU), where she plans to study social work. Rossi also plans to earn her master’s degree in social work.
“I decided to go into social work because of my interactions personally and professionally with families who receive or need social services,” said Rossi. “I truly love my current position as an emergency dispatcher, helping others in their times of immediate need, and I want to continue to help people as a social worker.”
The excellent reputation of the College and a positive outlook from her husband inspired Rossi to attend HFC as she began her second career.
“The overall atmosphere of the campus, and the down-to-earth and approachable Instructors and staff were a big draw,” said Rossi. “I like the small community and the various activities throughout the year that are available to students.”
Rossi is especially grateful to Assisted Learning Services (ALS), which played an invaluable role during her time at HFC.
“Being an adult with a learning disability, I was terrified to return to school,” she said. “ALS made a huge difference in my education. I also want to encourage other adults with learning disabilities not to be afraid of college. There are wonderful services to help you – especially at HFC!”