Piedmont student, Theo Deaton, receives prestigious scholarship


Staff Writer

In 1978, the Jeannette Rankin Foundation awarded a scholarship in the amount of $500. Since then, the foundation has awarded more than $1.8 million in scholarships to more than 700 women.

This year a scholarship was awarded to one of our own Piedmont College students, Theo Deaton. This is the first time an Athens Piedmont student has received this honor. Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund provides scholarships and support for low-income women 35 and older to build better lives through college completion.

The Jeannette Rankin Scholarship Foundation (JRWSF) supports working class women over 35 who are returning to college to complete their degrees and improve their lives. JRWSF honors the legacy of a woman with wonderful spirit and determination by providing much needed aid to women with the same attributes.

Jeannette Rankin was an advocate of women’s rights and was the first woman to be elected to the United States Congress in 1916.

This year, 87 women are receiving financial assistance in the form of JRF scholarships. From all over the country, these women submitted applications for financial aid, because they are working to conquer from poverty and striving to become successful women. 49.4 percent of JRF scholars in 2012 were the first in their families to go to school, and as a result, ended the poverty cycle and impacted future generations of their families by inspiring the children. 75 percent of JRF scholars in 2012 are heads of their households; as role models in their families, they are signifying the importance of education and the notion of “anything is possible.”

Deaton has inspired our Piedmont community by her strong will and determination. She has not let any obstacle restrain her from her education and goals.

Upon receiving this honor, Deaton said:

“I am pleased that my girls know I worked hard to complete my degree. They know the amount of work, dedication and sacrifice necessary to accomplish a goal. I am proud to say that my daughters are part of my college experience. My oldest will graduate high school the same year that I graduate from college. A bachelor’s degree means that I can become a certified teacher. Being a teacher means that I can embark on a career both personally rewarding and that allows me financial independence. It will mean that I completed a goal I set for myself over 20 years ago! As a teacher I will be giving back to my community every single day. I know I can make a difference and I am incredibly excited to take on this challenge.”

Congratulations to Theo Deaton.