At Moss Point High School a scholarship workshop program was started three years ago by the 21 and Above Club, Burt Jackson (District Counselor Superintendent), the District Counselor, and Angeles Walden (Communication Director), collectively they came up with an idea to prep the seniors and to give them opportunities and tools to use to help them reach their academic goals. The scholarship program gives students a chance to come and apply for scholarships, colleges, have essay prep along with Alumni’s in the workforce come and offer their support and advice. Senior Nino Shkamunoz says, “It’s worth it in the end and gives us a sense of direction.” Nino plans on going to Tupelo College to become a premed major in the fall. Senior Skylar McInnis says, “It [the workshop] taught me a lot. It taught me to get my college and scholarship applications in on time. This program is definitely good for students, especially high school students because of all the stress we endure.” She learned that deadlines are important and to not get them done the day before. “No matter where you’re from, you qualify for anything. You can’t obtain something if you don’t apply for it.” Skylar is going to Tupelo College also in the fall and is going to be a Biology major.
Senior Bryan Ha says, “the workshop is helping the students by pushing them to meet deadlines and be ahead of the game but being prepared. There are so many scholarships out there, you just have to really look and find the ones that fits you best. Bryan is interviewing for Harvard and wants to major in Biomedical Engineering in the fall. The last senior we spoke to is Sh’Kol Shboy who says, “the importance of actually applying yourself to get out there and apply for more scholarships is essential, the importance of how many scholarships are out there and the money you can get from them, can go towards your college career.”
JaxCoHome spoke with Mr. Burt Jackson who is the District Counselor Superintendent. He says, “sometimes the children need a little push and we wanted them to see and experience what real life interviews were like and walk them through it, along with what real life applications for colleges and jobs will look like and prepare them for any situation.” So how do you get the seniors motivated? “What gets the kids motivated is the real life situations, putting them through the application process and the interviews is what really gets the kids them on the ball to get up and do something about their academic future. We want them to ‘think on their feet’” think outside the box” and be prepared to answer questions that you aren’t expecting.” What about the response and reaction from the students” Mr Burt Jackson says, “the response from the students has been great. They come back from their interviews and discuss how their interview process went. So it is really rewarding to see that all this time and hard work has paid off and the kids are eager to begin their next step in life.” Mr. Jackson also teaches secondary and tertiary thought processes to the students to help them with the interviews.
Jalisa Walden, the Communication Director for Moss Point School District says “we’ve had awesome partners this year with the city of Moss Point, the Moss Point School District Alumni Association, and the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Theta Zeta Omega chapter. They participated in helping us read essays, give scholarship to kids and also giving them resources about the college admission process, so it’s been very helpful and we have a great group of students, we have the 21 and Above Club at the high school and then we have a 25 and Above Club at the high School also that has students with 21’s or 25’s or higher on the ACT. The thing with our children is exposure, exposing them to college life and exposing them to the opportunities and possibilities that they can have after high school.” Jalisa says they are really excited about the class of 2019 as they have a lot to look forward to with the class of 2020.
She also challenges, that if parents that do not know that the high school is putting on this workshop to “read about us, contact us, and do not believe everything you hear or read about.” This program could ensure that with this workshop, they have already set themselves apart from many other high schools and set an example of how to help our kids will have a successful future academics and in life.