Shawn Williams & Jillian Anderson: Devoting Their Lives to Service

“I had a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.”

That’s how Shawn Williams, a graduate of Vashon, felt when he found out in 2008 that he had received a Community Foundation scholarship inspired by Bertha Black Rhoda, a former Vashon educator. Since then, Shawn completed college, earned his master’s and doctoral degrees, and is now an administrator at a public school in the City of St. Louis. “I stand on Ms. Rhoda’s shoulders,” he says proudly.

Jillian Anderson, a career prosecuting attorney in St. Charles, expressed similar sentiments when she discovered she was the first recipient of the Missouri Prosecuting Outstanding Service Award and would have up to $50,000 of her student loans forgiven. An anonymous donor established the annual award at the St. Louis Community Foundation to ensure the best and brightest minds were able to pursue a legal career in public service.

“I am elated and so very grateful; I can hardly believe it,” Anderson said after being surprised with the news by the St. Louis Community Foundation. “This will make a huge difference for our family. I am truly over the moon.”

Visit here to learn how the Community Foundation can help establish a scholarship or other educational assistance program that is aligned with your vision.