HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — For the next four weeks, acb27 News is highlighting incredible local women, nominated by viewers, for the amazing work they’ve done in the community.
On Tuesday, we take a look at Donna Jo Rawls, who overcame obstacles to help students.
Nominated by her five children, Rawls was surprised to hear that she was being honored as a Remarkable Woman.
“I was so overwhelmed and really like kind of tearful. To me, a remarkable woman is an actress that made it big time [like] Maya Angelou, Kamala Harris,” Rawls said.
While she never made headlines for her work, she made a difference in countless lives, serving as a school nurse in the Susquehanna Township and Harrisburg School Districts.
“With the nursing, it is not that they are always sick they have other needs,” Rawls said.
Rawls even established a program for pregnant moms.
“I was able to help them stay in, better themselves, be able to move forward in life. Most of them went to college,” Rawls said.
But her success didn’t come without some obstacles. Rawls faced discrimination while applying to Harrisburg Hospital’s nursing program — but didn’t take no for an answer.
“They said no. They don’t have any black students and I would not be able to learn. But I did end up going to nursing school after three applications,” Rawls said.
Each Tuesday through March, abc27 News will feature another one of our finalists from our Remarkable Woman Contest.
Then, be sure to watch Good Day Pa. on April 1, as abc27 hosts reveal the big winner.
Plus, all four women will be featured on a half-hour special honoring Remarkable Women here in the Midstate on April 9 at 7:30 p.m.