One Million Degrees

Scholar Determined to Rectify Unjust Workplace, Make Women’s History After Graduation

Taniya Scott’s educational journey is unlike many—she began school at the age of 10. In celebration of Women’s History Month, One Million Degrees recognizes a resilient woman and OMD Scholar determined to achieve her goals.


Chicago, IL -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/08/2016 -- "Being behind was a big motivator to go to college," says Taniya Scott whose educational journey was delayed due to a learning disability. Despite this obstacle, she always aspired to become a lawyer and was cheered on by her first grammar school teacher to pursue higher education.

When Taniya started attending Prairie State College in 2010, she was at a point where she wasn't enjoying college and felt she wasn't getting the full value of the experience. "I just wanted to get good grades and get out. One Million Degrees made me reflect on why I'm in college, which is important, because sometimes we forget the 'why's' of what we do." One Million Degree's one-on-one career coaching, academic advising and culture of success provided Taniya the push she needed to keep going.

Taniya will graduate from Prairie State College in May 2016 and become a labor law and human rights attorney. "They have been my biggest supporters. They get so excited and even help me with homework at times."

Taniya will attend Purdue University – Calumet in fall 2016 to pursue a bachelor's degree. Inspired by a passion for advocacy and with the determination to overcome the educational barrier that was holding her back, Taniya chose to pursue a career in law. She wanted to give a voice to people like her who refused to allow a learning disability to stifle professional success. "Before I went to college I had to get a job. I'm a non-traditional student," she says. "I was being taken advantage of by employers because of my lack of education, so I decided to return to school." Her goal was to learn how to rectify many of the unjust practices she had seen and experienced in the workplace.

After graduating from Prairie State College in May 2016 with an associate degree in Psychology, Taniya will attend Purdue University – Calumet in fall 2016 to pursue a bachelor's degree. She plans to attend the University of Chicago Law School for her juris doctor degree.

About One Million Degrees
One Million Degrees is the only organization of its kind in Illinois and one of few in the country dedicated to providing comprehensive supports to low-income, highly motivated community college students to help them succeed in school, in work, and in life. From tutors and coaches to financial assistance and life-skills training, OMD offers the kind of support that empowers scholars to transform their lives in a way that will resonate for generations. OMD Scholars graduate at three times the state average with the skills and experiences necessary to launch upwardly mobile professional careers.

OMD partners with 11 Chicago-area community colleges, including the seven City Colleges of Chicago, College of Lake County, Harper College, Prairie State College, and South Suburban College. In the 2015 – 2016 academic year, OMD serves 441 scholars across the region.

To learn more about One Million Degrees, please visit