Alumni Spotlight: 2015 Nelson Mandela Inspiration Award Winner Dashanique Harmon
Ms. Dashanique Harmon, a 2015 Vocational Nursing graduate of cohort PTV, was awarded the Nelson Mandela Inspiration Award at the 2015 Stanbridge College Commencement Exercises. The award recognizes a graduate who has shown extraordinary dedication to his or her educational pursuits in the face of adversity.
A challenging childhood inspired Ms. Harmon to become a nurse, achieving her dreams through hard work, faith, and determination. She was born to teenage parents, living in a group home while her father was deployed to Korea. Her mother, scared and under enormous pressure, turned to drugs to cope, resulting in Ms. Harmon and her brother being taken by Child Protective Services, and placed in the foster care system. Eventually, her grandparents were granted full custody, and Ms. Harmon found a loving, stable home. “Throughout my childhood, my grandparents encouraged my brother and me to strive for more and follow our dreams,” Ms. Harmon said. “Mine was to become a nurse.”
While pursuing her education at Stanbridge, Ms. Harmon worked tirelessly to balance her studies with motherhood (to her son, four-year-old Brelind), and the demands of full-time employment. “It was a very challenging time, emotionally and mentally, but I pressed on because I wanted my son to be proud of me. With the support of my fiancé Fred, I was able to conquer the demands of working full-time as a Medical Assistant and pursue my nursing education at Stanbridge College.”
It is this determination that has helped Ms. Harmon excel in her current position as a LVN with Kaiser Permanente. A natural leader, with the passion to motivate those around her, she plans to continue her trajectory into Registered Nursing, focusing on labor and delivery/postpartum care in the NICU. Ms. Harmon draws inspiration and strength from her favorite quote, “Faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain.” Ms. Harmon explained, “A seed is worth more when it continues to grow. You water and feed the seed of your faith, and the direction God has for my life has led me to become the successful nurse I am today.”