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Walden News // Apr 05, 2017

Walden University Scholars of Change Demonstrate the Impact of Positive Social Change

Minneapolis—April 5, 2017—Walden University’s newest Scholars of Change are students and graduates who focus on the future, whether they are founding organizations to make changes across the globe or working to improve the lives of people in their community. Nearly 50 Walden students and alumni submitted inspiring videos of social change for the 2016 Scholars of Change video contest, demonstrating how they are putting their knowledge to use for the greater good and living the university’s mission of effecting positive social change.

Three individuals were named Walden’s 2016 Scholars of Change, each receiving a $4,000 prize in addition to a $500 donation to the charity of their choice.

  • Maria Onyia, a Doctor of Education (EdD) graduate from Lagos, Nigeria. Inspired to improve education in her native Nigeria, Dr. Onyia works to “adopt” public schools and assist in training their teachers, providing supplies and offering scholarships to children at the primary level. Her charity is the OrgLearning Foundation.
  • Tamar Boyd, a PhD in Psychology graduate from Juneau, Alaska. After experiencing a traumatic response that could have been avoided following childbirth, Dr. Boyd was determined to help other women after delivery, providing them with the physical and mental support resources they need to maintain their health. Her charity is Parents as Teachers™, an affiliate program of the Association for the Education of Young Children, Southeast Alaska.
  • Dawn Broers, a PhD in Social Work student from Bourbonnais, Illinois. Driven to help the homeless in her community, Broers established the organization Fortitude Canteen Outreach to assist with outreach and provide access to clothing and food for the underserved population. Her charity is Fortitude Canteen Outreach.

“Fortitude Canteen Outreach runs on a shoestring budget and with only volunteer labor, so the opportunity to win $500 was a huge incentive for us. But I also saw it as an opportunity to show that social change can happen in our backyards,” said Broers. “I was so impressed by videos from previous years, some of which show huge change efforts happening around the world. I thought there was no way our small-town homeless outreach could compare to those efforts, but I'm thrilled that this will bring awareness to local activism. I hope others are inspired to create social change in their communities as well.”

Other inspiring stories of social change from Walden students and alumni include three additional honorable mention scholars, who each received $500:

For more than 45 years, Walden University has provided a diverse community of career professionals with the opportunity to transform themselves as scholar-practitioners so that they can apply what they’ve learned to effect positive social change. The Scholars of Change program began in 2009 when Walden invited students and alumni to submit short videos showing how they were applying their Walden education and experience to create positive social change in their communities and around the globe.

To view Walden Scholars of Change videos, go to

About Walden University:
For more than 45 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Students from all 50 states in the U.S. and more than 155 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university offers more than 85 degree programs with more than 435 specializations and concentrations. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Walden is one of more than 70 institutions in 25 countries that comprise the Laureate International Universities network. For more information about Walden, visit