The Boo Grigsby Foundation Scholarship Awardees: Where Are They Now?

We’re about to let you in on a secret. Not only is Career Compass Louisiana’s leading college and career access organization, but we also administer the Boo Grigsby Foundation Scholarship Fund in partnership with the Boo Grigsby Foundation. Through this partnership, we’ve empowered dozens of Louisiana students to make their post-secondary dreams come true.

The Boo Grigsby Foundation scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to disadvantaged high school seniors who received one-on-one coaching by a Career Compass college & career coach. Not only does the scholarship help students financially, but it also provides them with a personal coach to help them during their college experience. Now that you know our secret, make sure you get in on it. We are now accepting applicants for the 2017 Boo Grigsby Foundation Scholarship.

To kick off the new scholarship competition, we interviewed two past scholarship awardees who are finishing up college now. We asked them about how the scholarship opportunity changed their lives, and what their experiences were working with Career Compass. Enjoy!

Meet Rekeya! 

Rekeya Blackmore (pictured left, above) graduated from Livonia High School (Pointe Coupee Parish) in 2015. As a senior, she had a baby girl and wasn’t sure what her future held. With the help of her Career Compass Coach, Rekeya could pinpoint her college major and apply to universities that suited her goals. She’s now a senior at Louisiana State University (LSU). Here’s a bit of our conversation with her:

Career Compass (“CC”): Tell me about your experience with Career Compass when you were in high school.

Rekeya (“R”): When I was a senior in high school, I met with a Career Compass Coach several times. I was pregnant that year, and I was very nervous about my future. I knew I wanted to go to college, but I was unsure of what major I would choose. I wanted to do something in the medical field, but I was worried I couldn’t do it. I was concerned about how long it would take to complete my degree and if my classes would be too hard. My coach encouraged me and told me not to worry how long it may take. She said that if I could stay focused, I would be fine. She helped me choose a path, and apply to several universities.

CC: What does the scholarship mean to you?

R: When you’re in college, money goes quickly, and every bit helps. I use the scholarship money I receive each semester for my text books and all the supplies for my classes. It helps me so much knowing that I don’t have to stress about money. The scholarship allows me to focus on my classes, and have all the tools necessary for success. 

CC: Tell me about actually applying for the scholarship? Did it take a long time, and was the application hard to fill out?

R: It only took me 15-20 minutes to apply. It was easy! While I was applying, I thought it was so easy that I wasn’t going to be selected.

CC: How did you find out about the scholarship?

R: My Career Compass Coach told me about it, and so did my guidance counselor. They both encouraged me to apply.

CC: Think back on the first time you met with your Career Compass Coach your senior year. What advice would you give to high school Seniors?

R: 1. Don't let others tell you something is hard, and make you doubt what you want to do. When I was considering a medical major even after I started LSU, other students told me about how hard the classes were, and how they didn’t pass some of the classes I would be taking. I was really discouraged because I started to doubt if I could pass the classes, but I stayed true to what I wanted and went for it. Now that I am in the classes that everyone thought were SO hard, I see that these classes aren’t difficult - you just need to put forth effort! I think anyone can pass any class, and make an A.

2. Go to class! I learn while I’m in class. It makes studying easier! If you don’t go to class, you’re seeing the information for the first time when you study. The more you hear the information and write notes, the better you retain it and easier the subject is. Another thing - some professors TELL you what they’re going to be testing you on. I highlight that information when I am in class, so I know when I am studying to really focus on that material.

3. Don't procrastinate! In high school, you have homework daily or weekly to turn in. In some of my college classes, you only turn in something monthly or twice a semester. Don’t wait until two days until your paper is due to start writing. You will be stressed, and you won’t create your best work.

CC: So, what does life look like for you now and your immediate future?

R: My daughter is 3 years old; she is active and loves the movie, Frozen. Everything is Frozen: her birthday party, and even her Mardi Gras float that she made at school was Frozen themed. As far as school goes, I’m a full-time student at LSU, majoring in Kinesiology. I applied to the LSU School of Dentistry for their Dental Hygienist program in New Orleans. If I’m accepted, then I will be in that program for two years. If not, I will graduate from LSU this December. I will find out if I am moving to New Orleans in May. Fingers crossed!

Next up is Myranda!

Myranda Triche (pictured right, above) graduated from East Saint John High School (St. John the Baptist Parish) in 2013, and is now a full-time student at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Career Compass (“CC”): Tell me about your experience with Career Compass.

Myranda (“M”): Before my senior year, I saw Career Compass Coaches talking to students, and I always wondered what they were doing. When I was a senior, they called me to meet with them, and I learned quickly what was in store for me. At our first meeting, the coaches asked me about my goals, what college I wanted to attend, and we got to know each other. We discussed applying for Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU), which was my number one choice. Every time my coach was at my school, I made sure I stopped by to chat. I’m a first-generation college student, so I really leaned on my coach with all the questions I had about college. I really value the relationship I developed with her.

CC: Which coach did you work with?

M: Irene Hebert. She is the best!

CC: Yes, she is! How did you decide to apply for the scholarship?

M: I applied for many scholarships, and this was the only one I received. I was honest, answered the questions with much thought, and didn’t have anything to lose by applying.

CC: What does the scholarship award mean to you?

M: It has given me financial security. I’m not stressed about the small things, and am able to be a better student because of it. I am just so thankful!

CC: Give a senior in high school advice that you wish you had.

M: 1. Be open minded to new experiences and different types of people. College is so different from high school. The world is filled with many different types of people, and I love that I’m able to be friends with people I didn’t encounter while in high school.

2. Get involved on campus. This has changed my life, and has taught me how to adapt to many different situations. I’ve been involved with Student Government for all four years of college. I’m the Student Coordinator of Student Government Association events. I’m also a member of NAACP, and an Orientation Leader. I have made so many friends through these organizations. I’ve also made professional connections that will help me after I graduate.

CC: Speaking of graduating, when will that happen? And what are your plans for after graduation?

R: I will be graduating from SLU in May 2017 in General Studies. After that, I plan on working in Children’s Ministry in Hammond area. I’m sad to leave college because I’ve had the best time!

Career Compass is so proud of these young women, as well as the dozens of other Boo Grigsby Foundation Scholarship awardees. If you’re a high school student in an eligible area, be sure to apply to the Boo Grigsby Scholarship Award. The deadline is April 25, 2017, to apply, so click here to learn about the criteria and to apply! There are also other scholarships you can apply for here.

--By Ashley LeSaicherre, College & Career Coach in Tangipahoa Parish