Way To Go Woman: DeWana Hadder
Our 2020 Way to Go Woman! honorees are women age 40 and under who are changing lives, mobilizing the community, and setting new goals for the future. Find out how each of them stays motivated to rise above the challenges and follow the path to success.
WAY TO GO WOMAN! COMMUNITY category
DEWANA HADDER, 33
Job: Strategic Enrollment Specialist, Bellarmine University
DeWana Hadder believes everyone has the right to have a quality education regardless of their circumstances.
In 2013, DeWana partnered with educational consultants 55,000 Degrees and other community leaders to start Louisville College Signing Day — an initiative aimed at providing Black high school students and other students of color with the resources they need to enter and complete college.
“Over the course of five years, we served over 5,000 Jefferson County public and private school students and provided them with opportunities to connect with their college of choice prior to leaving for college and gave away essential items necessary to be successful on campus,” she says. DeWana serves on the Associate Board of the Coalition for the Homeless and has been instrumental in supporting legislation that promotes fair housing practices.
PAVING THE WAY
I always knew that I was created to be a solution, I just had to find my niche. Receiving an education allowed me the opportunity to become a first-generation graduate. When I saw that I encouraged my siblings to achieve postsecondary education,
I wanted to be a voice for others. I became an educational activist to ensure that Black scholars have access to educational opportunities regardless of the backgrounds they come from.
BREAKING THE MOLD
Some people are OK with the way things are because it doesn’t affect them, and ‘things have always been this way,’ so they ask, ‘why change now?’ There has definitely been a shift in the last five years.
I am researching ways to integrate my story and research in a way to continue to advocate for access to post-secondary opportunities for Black and non-Black students of color.