Based on interviews conducted by Karen Ellender and Ashley LeSaicherre (College & Career Coaches)

Jake Vincent is a sophomore at Nicholls State University studying Mass Communication. We met Jake years ago when he was a senior at H.L. Bourgeois High School, a public high school in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. We caught up with him and asked him to share his thoughts about Career Compass.

“Career Compass helped me to know where to start and what to do each step of the way in the college application process,” Jake said of his experience with Career Compass. “Without Career Compass’ help, I wouldn't have had all my thoughts together, and applying for college would not have gone nearly as smoothly as it did.”

Here is Jake's story. 

When Jake was a senior in high school, he knew he wanted to go to Nicholls State. He had visited the campus years ago, and felt a connection to it. He took a newspaper class his senior year of high school, and it inspired him to pursue communications as a career. From forming stories and interview questions to handing out the freshly printed copies, the whole newsmaking process thrilled Jake, but he didn’t know if it was a possibility for him.

Jake would be the first in his family to go to college. He knew he wanted to further his education, but when it came to thinking about the steps it would take to reach that goal, his mind drew a blank.

One day, he was called out of his elective class to meet with Mrs. Karen Ellender, a Career Compass college & career coach. He didn’t know what to expect from the meeting, or why someone like Mrs. Ellender would be so willing to help him. However, he did know that he was excited to get out of class!

By the end of the first meeting with his coach, he was hooked. He heard about all of the things that Career Compass could do for him and it wouldn’t cost him a penny. He heard about how Mrs. Ellender could help him through the application process by creating a College Success Plan. A College Success Plan is a tool and a process created by Career Compass that lays out all of the steps to apply to college in a simple format. Jake and Mrs. Ellender talked that day about some of those steps and planned to meet again.

At Jake’s second meeting, and subsequent meetings after that, they talked about financial aid options and steps to apply for it. They also talked about TOPS and how he could be eligible for assistance. Mrs. Ellender was always there as an advisor and an advocate whenever Jake needed one. She helped him to understand that while there may be obstacles in his path to college, there was almost always a way to remove them.

The big day arrived, and Jake applied to college, relying on what he learned from his Career Compass college & career coach. Then the waiting began. Both Jake and his coach knew that he had put his best foot forward, and they knew that Jake met all of the requirements to be accepted to the university. Now, he just needed to get that “ACCEPTED” letter.

When the acceptance letter came, it was a happy day! Jake received early acceptance at Nicholls, and received two prestigious scholarships: the honors program scholarship, and a scholarship for mass communication department students.

Today, Jake is in his second year at Nicholls and is thriving in his chosen major. He and Mrs. Ellender keep in touch to this day, from chance meetings at his alma mater to meet ups at his college. We cannot wait to see what is in store next for our friend, Jake Vincent!

About the Authors

Karen Ellender's Bio (scroll down)

Ashley LeSaicherre's Bio (scroll down)