Get to know our 2018 What’s Ne[x]t Scholarship winners
What are your passions? What’s next after college? I major in Education at Georgia State University and am a proud color guard member in the Georgia State Marching Band. My goals are to become a high school teacher and also continue my passion for color guard as an instructor. Participating in the band was a major part of my high school experience and a deciding factor in pursuing my education degree.
How did you overcome the fear of performing? The most valuable advice I ever received was to simply breathe. Focusing on breathing allows you to relax your muscles, quiet your mind, and tune out anxiety. Breathing exercises and meditation routines are as important as body warm-ups before each performance. Having the support of other performers who have your back every moment of the
show gives you the confidence to focus on being your
best for the team.
What’s your favorite part of color guard? The people! I think what makes color guard great is the emotional connection and support of the performers and instructors in the activity. You are not only a part of your team, but you become a member of the bigger guard family. In fact, it is a guard tradition to wish other competitors good luck before the show. Everyone cheers for every team. It’s a community like no other.
Being a performer, what aspect do you find the most challenging when working with a team and learning new tricks? What is the most rewarding aspect? The most challenging part when learning a new skill is overcoming the mental blocks and fear. Tossing heavy and sharp objects while moving is incredibly dangerous and can result in serious lacerations and injuries if not done correctly. Knowing the risk makes it very scary to the point where you mentally can’t do it. However, once you push through it and master any new skill, it is the most gratifying feeling ever. You practice for days and fail, but there comes a time when you get it right and it feels incredible.
What does it mean to you to receive the $8,000 What’s Ne[x]t Scholarship? It means the absolute world to me and brings me a big step closer to achieving my educational goals. I was so appreciative to learn you chose me out of many students who worked hard to submit scholarship entries. I wish them all the best! This scholarship is a great help in paying for my school tuition and will limit the number of student loans I have to take out in order to graduate. Thank you so much for your generosity and support of Georgia’s Own students!
How will this scholarship help you achieve What’s Ne[x]t for you? This scholarship is helping me achieve What’s Ne[x]t by allowing me to do what I love by helping with much-needed funds for my education. I applied for the scholarship because I feel a part of the Georgia’s Own community, both as a member and as a Georgia State student. I am happy to say that now my tuition is covered for this year. I look forward to the next year at Georgia State in the Honors College and the upcoming Panther band season at the new Georgia State Stadium in Atlanta.
What makes you one of Georgia’s Own? I have been a member of Georgia’s Own Credit Union since I was a kid. I learned about money here. It was fun to empty my piggy bank into the noisy cash machine there and watch my savings grow. Now, I am a pro at managing my checking and savings accounts. Being a member and a GSU student gives me extra access to amazing events being held on campus, which are always so much fun.
How do you manage the cost of college during school and after you graduate? I have always loved to save money. Every time I earn a paycheck or extra money, I deposit 30-50% into my savings account. I keep a budget for each month and monitor my spending. I earn money teaching guard and also apply for scholarships to help with college expenses and reduce my debt after graduation. Maintaining good grades allows for more scholarship opportunities.
My advice to other students is learn how to spend money in moderation and plan activities with money in mind. I know that Starbucks before class every day seems like a great idea, but it makes my wallet cry. However, visiting Starbucks occasionally with friends makes it a special treat. Frequently checking your account balance will also help you stay on track with your budget.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself. When I was in preschool, I changed my name to Lucy. After watching I Love Lucy, I decided I just HAD to be Lucy. I wouldn’t respond to Anna and signed my artwork with my new name. I’m back to Anna these days, but my family still calls me Lucy when I’m being stubborn, which makes me laugh!
What are your passions? What’s next after college? What’s next is completing my undergraduate degree in Finance, then pursuing graduate studies in Policymaking and Management. For as long as I can remember, business and finance have been my passions. I love entrepreneurship, banking, finance, accounting, and every other aspect of business. Now, I’m also interested in exploring how business and policymaking intersect. After graduating with my B.B.A. (Bachelor of Business Administration) next spring, I’ll be excited to gain exposure to policymaking and learn how those two worlds collide!
Being from Michigan, what made you choose Georgia State University? I love the GSU campus. It’s surrounded by big corporate headquarters, rich historical sites, and tons of employers for a finance student such as myself. I also admire the diversity at GSU. There are so many students who have different interests—art, tech, filmmaking, history, apologetics, gaming—I’ve seen it all! I am proud to be a
What inspired you to write the book 100 Reasons 4 College? I was inspired to write 100 Reasons 4 College after mentoring my cousins and introducing them to campus life. They are 14- and 15-year-old girls and moved to Atlanta for high school. They hadn’t had much exposure to campus life, so I wanted to impress them with how fun college can be. They were impressed, so I packaged all that I’d shared with them into a book and called it 100 Reasons 4 College: Why College is the Next Step for You! Since publishing my book in February, I’ve left that impression with over 1,000 students in metro Atlanta.
What was your favorite part of being the FBLA president? What was the most challenging? I loved the idea that I was becoming a Future Business Leader of America (FBLA). Being President of FBLA gave me the confidence that I would need to become an American business leader. Before I knew anything about ROI or a CAP rate, FBLA instilled in me the business principles that would become essential to my career. The most challenging part of being the FBLA President was rehearsing for competitions. It took months and months for our members and me to prepare for our business pitches. In the end, it made us sharper competitors.
At 13, you began discussing your father’s career. Do you plan on following in his footsteps and becoming a banker? Banking certainly interests me. To this day, I still ask my dad about the deals that his bank is closing and about any big news in the industry. I believe that banking is the crux of our economy and creates opportunities for so many people. If you want to start a business, go to college, or buy a house, typically, you go to your credit union or bank to get a loan.
What does it mean to you to receive the $5,000 What’s Ne[x]t Scholarship? When I found out that I’d received the $5,000 What’s Ne[x]t Scholarship, I was ecstatic! It means a lot to belong to a credit union that invests in the futures of its members. It says a lot about the character of the organization and makes me proud to be a Georgia’s Own member. Earning this scholarship means that I am one step closer to achieving my financial goal of graduating from college debt-free!
How will this scholarship help you achieve What’s Ne[x]t for you? Like many students, I work part-time, work during the summer, and apply for scholarships/loans to pay for college. I am big on budgeting and personal finance and made a plan to pay off my student loans by the time I graduate from college. It has required some extra hours working and applying for scholarships, but a decision that I am committed to achieving. Earning this scholarship will help me reach that goal and allow me to focus more on serving students and sharing my book!
What makes you one of Georgia’s Own? There is no place like Georgia or Georgia’s Own Credit Union! I bank at the downtown location close to Georgia State’s campus. I can always count on stopping by to get the services that I need. I’m always greeted by familiar faces who are happy to serve the Atlanta community.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I play acoustic guitar at my church, Atlanta Revival Center. Sunday is the day of the week that I most look forward to because I can jam out with our worship band and make sweet, aromatic music. Playing the guitar is very therapeutic for me.
What are your passions? What’s next after college? For the past year, I worked hard preparing to apply to a competitive program at Gwinnett Technical College. I am excited to say that I’ve been accepted and will be studying Radiologic Technology. I love helping and serving others and am excited to start on a career path that will allow me to do that. After completing my program, I plan on continuing my education and specializing in MRI Technology.
What made you choose Gwinnett Technical College? After I graduated high school, I attended a college that was two hours away. I quickly realized that I preferred to be close to my family. I came back to Lilburn and started looking at colleges. Gwinnett Tech was more affordable than other colleges nearby, which was very appealing because I didn’t want to be in debt when I graduated. Also, since it’s a two-year program, I could start working and building my career
a lot sooner.
How did you become interested in the medical field, and what lead you to focus on Radiologic Technology? The medical field was not my “Plan A” – I was originally on track to become an accountant. I worked a couple of desk jobs, and through those I was able to identify the part I liked the most about all of my jobs: helping others. I decided that I wanted a hands-on job working directly with people. After I knew what I was looking for, it was clear that I needed to be in the medical field. I zoned in on Radiologic Technology because of how many doors it can open. There are several different specialties you can go into, such as MRI Technology, Mammography, Radiation Therapy, and Nuclear Medicine Technology.
How does it feel to make the Dean’s List after dedicating all of your time to earning a degree? Making the Dean’s List was an amazing accomplishment for me and an important indicator that I was on the right track! I was so invested in my classes that I devoted a large portion of my time to school, and my grades reflected that. I had been working hard to get the highest grades possible, and this award validated all my hard work; it felt great to be recognized by my school for all my achievements.
What does it mean to you to receive the $2,000 What’s Ne[x]t Scholarship? I am beyond honored that Georgia’s Own has chosen me as a recipient. You don’t make a big career change like the one I made without having some doubts. The fact that an institution like Georgia’s Own recognizes my hard work as something worthy of investing in reiterates that I’ve made the best choice for my future, and I am extremely grateful for that.
How will this scholarship help you achieve What’s Ne[x]t for you? The $2,000 will go directly to buying necessary supplies like my scrubs, books, and equipment. By having this extra financial help, I can worry less about working during the school year and focus on spending my time studying and becoming the best radiologic technologist I
What makes you one of Georgia’s Own? Ever since I first stepped into Georgia’s Own, I was greeted with kindness and compassion. That’s how I try to live my life every day – making sure I’m always open to helping and serving others. I feel a strong sense of community at my credit union, and I know that Georgia’s Own will always be a great resource whenever I need guidance surrounding my financial health.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I love to paddleboard. Nearly every day during the summer, I go to Stone Mountain Park and spend at least three hours on the lake. I am also an avid hiker. Any given weekend, you can find me climbing mountains or chasing waterfalls.