Related: Social Issues, Students

Voices of Trinity: Danielle Harrington '12

 
 


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Last week, a Trinity freshwoman made us all proud — Danielle Harrington, Class of 2012, a D.C. Achievers Scholar.   Danielle spoke at a business breakfast in front of an audience of corporate and civic leaders at the Washington Nationals Stadium.   The occasion was the first fund raiser for the D.C. Costco Scholarship, a companion scholarship program to the D.C. Achievers.   Danielle spoke about her hopes and dreams in coming to Trinity, and the importance of scholarship support in helping students like her overcome the barriers to educational achievement.

Here’s Danielle’s speech in her own words:

My name is Danielle Harrington. I’m a proud Native Washingtonian, and a proud member of the inaugural class of the District Of Columbia College Success Foundation Achievers Scholarship. Today I am privileged to speak to you at the  inaugural DC Costco Scholarship breakfast. I’ll like to speak to you for a few minutes about what the Achievers Scholarship means to me and what  the Costco Scholarship may mean to other DC students.

During my first three years of high school I really didn’t take my academics serious as I should have. I believe that God does everything for a reason and each mistake or down fall that I had, I have learned a tremendous lesson from them all. In June I graduated from Ballou senior high school located in the southeast area of Washington, DC. The neighborhood was filled with violence at times including robberies, shoot outs, neighborhood turf wars, and gang related activity. There were times when people would get into violent altercations simply because they live in different neighborhoods. Although Ballou had a bad reputation enlarged part because of the violence that surrounded the school, there were many students like myself who took advantage of the opportunity to obtain a education.

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Despite the challenges of the environment, I received a great deal of support from the staff and administration at Ballou.  During my senior year, I made the  honor roll during the last semester and student of the month in March even though I was faced with  many challenges, including being homeless for much of my senior year. After being chosen as one of the achiever candidates, I  began to believe that this scholarship gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. It also helped me to maintain a positive attitude not only towards my education but to others as well. I knew that no matter what came in the way, there will be some one there to help me to be the best that I can. 

Four weeks ago I begin my freshmen year in college. I plan to obtain my bachelor’s degree in Education  at Trinity here in Washington, D.C. My goal is to help our next generation become productive readers, writers, and thinkers, as a Elementary school teacher. I plan to inspire them to pursue high educational goals as I have been inspired.

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[Danielle with Costco Founder and Benefactor Bob Craves.]

I have a younger brother who is now in the tenth grade and daily I talk to him about going to college. He said he doesn’t want to go, but at least he’s thinking about it. He thinks college is too hard or that he won’t have any money to pay for it; but I made a promise that If he makes that decision to go he won’t have to worry about finding  money because I’m going to be his stepping stone and  will help him get to where he wants to be.

I envision my future all the time because it makes me very joyful to talk about all of the positives outcomes that I have in this world of college. I try my best to encourage others not only to follow my footsteps but to just make a difference. I think  it’s sad that so many students miss out of an opportunity of an education because they don’t have the financial resources.

img_4622.JPG [Danielle with Dr. Ben Carson]

I have a friend, who is sixteen, in the eleventh grade and has a  younger daughter. Her mother is addicted to drugs and is on public assistant. I  often have to remind her that the way her life is isn’t the way her life have to be.  She told me she wants to attend Trinity. I  have even encouraged her to apply to Trinity’s early decision program so that she can begin to see things differently. Giving a student the chance to become an Achievers Scholar or a Costco Scholar will help our youth pursue higher education, and a career, and reach for their full potential. These scholarships will help young people make better choices and find new meaning in life. They will encourage them to become leaders and to influence others who face similar challenges.

On the second day of school this year, there was a shooting outside of Ballou High school it was a sad reminder of violence that confronts DC students. But despite this, students at Ballou and other DC public schools continued to  pursue there high school diplomas in the hope that one day they will have the opportunity to earn a college degree. I thank you for your support of the inaugural Costco breakfast and for the lives of the students you are changing today.  Thank You.

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Congratulations, Danielle!  Here’s a photo of Danielle with her fan club right after the event….  What a proud day for Trinity!

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Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202.884.9050   Email: president@trinitydc.edu