2022 Lifelong Learner Scholarship Award Recipients

In 2000, the Business Women’s Network of Howard County established the Lifelong Learner Scholarship Program to support Howard County women in reaching the next step in their careers or businesses. Since then, we have awarded over $80,000 in Scholarships. For 2022, we are awarding eight outstanding Howard County women $1,500 each to embark on their next steps to success. Meet our 2022 awardees!

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Claire Villain is a Lead Teacher at the Cradlerock Children's Center in Columbia. During the pandemic, she taught at an early childhood center in Washington DC, where she piloted socially distant playdates to keep young children engaged and socially connected. Although Claire has advanced degrees in education, she is living her commitment to early childhood education by completing her certification requirements at Howard Community College. She aims to have her own business that will offer innovative early childhood education with an emphasis on the creative arts. 

"I would like to thank you all for the opportunity to invest in myself to become a more equitable and inclusive teacher. The scholarship will go towards training that I will need in order to help better serve my students and families and books that will help me curate intentional lesson plans. This alleviates the financial burden of purchasing these materials and trainings on my own. I am forever grateful and once again thank you for the opportunity." — Claire

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Danielle Daughton is a single mother, who is seeing her 19 year-old son successfully attending college. Danielle has spent most of her life caring for others, starting at age nine, taking care of her younger brother as their mother lost her battle with a terminal disease. She took the words of her mother to heart that she was strong. Danielle continues to show her strength as she works with students at the Homewood Center and pursues her Early Childhood Development degree at Howard Community College. She aims to teach young children, but also to become a life coach “after working on myself a little more.” 

"I just want to give a "Heartfelt Thank You" to each and every person who has made this opportunity a possibility for each and every one of us recipients (past and present). When I learned that my name was amongst those selected it gave me motivation to pursue more for myself as an individual who is usually the push/ inspiration for others to reach for their stars as I continue to put myself on hold to be the momma and caregiver to all within my reach.

After having my name chosen a shift in my mindset took place as I am usually the last to be picked for good things.

After having my name chosen it made me realize it is indeed "my time" to spread my wings and fly higher than I have allowed myself do in the past as I am always being the cheerleader for others

A Special Thank to Mrs. Sue Bullock for encouraging me to apply while telling me it was my time. She has watched my grow from a troubled girl to the woman you all selected because of her "I am still becoming" and for that I am so Thankful and Grateful. I love her like a Mother.

I always wanted my one and only son Amari to see me recognized for something meaningful and s pecial:) Recieving this scholarship has answered many prayers and I am so thankful." — Danielle

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Felicia Picott is a woman who has persevered through adversity but has maintained her passion for service. Despite a death in her family and struggles related to COVID-19, Felicia has continued to thrive in her pursuit of an LPN through Howard Community College. She was even selected as a student representative and is known for her compassion for people in difficulty. Felicia hopes to graduate in August 2022 and then pursue her RN, BSN, and MSN.

"I am 50 yrs old, a mother of four and grandmother of 6. I have been on this journey of furthering my education for some time. Nursing is my greatest passion and obtaining my RN BSN also MSN is my goal and desire.

I have been out of the working environment since covid. Yes, it has been such a struggle for me to maintain my education and my personal life. This semester I was not awarded any Pell grant. I truly had no clue on what to do. I was instructed to reach out to an awesome HCC staff to get resources. Mrs. Marshall forwarded me your organizations information.

This scholarship has truly inspired me to work extra hard. It gave me a sense of "HOPE" knowing that someone believed in me. You. The BWN foundation believes in me. I have worked hard all of my life. made it through many hardships with the Grace of God by my side. He always know when to send his charge ANGELS. BWN you are my ANGELS." — Felicia

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Jennifer Phillips is a woman who continues to inspire us at BWN. As a past recipient, Jennifer wrote an appreciation letter and recorded a video for the 2021 awards lunch. She finished her A.A. in nursing at HCC in 2021 and passed her licensing exam. As a caretaker for both her husband and her parents, along with being a mom, she is working on her BSN, through the University of Maryland, Global Campus. She has a special passion for nutrition and looks forward to incorporating it into her practice. 

"I am pursuing my bachelor's in nursing along with working part-time, caring for my family and my husband who has Multiple Sclerosis. The caregiver role has become increasingly demanding so I only work part-time right now which limits my income. This scholarship will allow me to finish my education." — Jennifer

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Keisha Hogan is an Employment Specialist with Sheppard Pratt/ Formally Mosaic Community Services who inspires and changes lives on a daily basis. Keisha has a passion for community services, including speaking out about unjust laws. Currently, she is working on her A A in Social Science at Howard Community College, but ultimately she aims to become a lawyer. 

"I want to thank you for selecting me for this scholarship. With this scholarship I will be able to continue my education and move closer to my end goal of a law degree. I am a mother of 4 and my hope is that through my success I can inspire not only my children but others who have travelled my same path. My strength comes from my children; mostly my awesome daughter, Jonbree Parkerton who is here with me. Thank you again. — Keisha 

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Kimbily Boyd has experience as a professional truck driver which she wants to apply to her new career path in the culinary arts. She is working on her A A in Culinary Management at Howard Community College and aspires to own and operate her own food truck. Kimbily also mentors younger students at HCC in professionalism by “inserting calm and confidence.”

"I would like to thank the Business Womens’s Network of Howard County for this generous scholarship. I am a 42-year-old single mother of two. I have been a truck driver for 21 years and now, finally perusing my passion in life, cooking and interacting with people. This scholarship allows me to continue working hard and giving my full attention to my studies without being burdened with working 14-hour days driving. Also, offsetting my out-of-pocket expenses for books and tuition. It makes my dream possible! After graduating in Spring 2023, I plan to have a food truck or a small brick and mortar. Receiving this award affirms that I am on the right path at the right time.

This has been a long time coming and I so needed the village to achieve this degree. I cannot thank you enough for being a part of my village and choosing me to be a recipient this year." — Kimbily

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Laura Barrett-Nutting, known to many BWN members as “Nurse Laura,” has a passion for integrative health. In 2021, she founded a nonprofit to support healthcare professionals in the cannabis industry. She was determined to set standards and ensure that patients can access education health professionals who thoroughly understand plant based medicine. Laura has also served as a BWN board member. Laura is working on her MS in nursing from Walden University to become a nurse practitioner. Ultimately, she wants to open her own integrative medicine practice in the mountains. 

"Thank you, Business Women’s Networking Scholarship Committee. I am grateful to be selected as one of the scholarship recipients for the 2022/2023 schoolyear. These scholarship funds will help me pay tuition to advance my nursing degree.

I applied for this scholarship after I decided to return to school for a Master’s Degree in Nursing, which will prepare me to sit for the nurse practitioner exam. Whether it is graduate school, post grad certificate programs, or specialty modules, I am always looking to continue gaining knowledge to have the opportunity to better serve my patients.

Initially, I felt guilty wanting to return to school as a single mother, running my business, and supporting two children, Josh (16) high school, and Gracie (20) college. Later, I realized I was giving my children a gift showing them how important education and service are in our lives.

Additionally, with the mental health crisis we are facing in our country, I hope furthering my education will give me more tools to help more people.

Thank you again for your support in these endeavors.

— Laura


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