Student Success Story | 1553538770 | Kent State University

Student Success Story

Like most students, Mackenzie Bailey faced the typical challenges during the start of her academic career, including choosing a major and getting good grades. But that all paled in comparison to the devastating news she received her freshman year: her father had terminal cancer.

“When I was home for winter break, he ended up passing away,” Ms. Bailey said.

It’s not every day that a college student is awarded a medal or receives a special visit from a congressman. But that’s exactly what happened to a Kent State University student when he was honored for his initiative, achievement and service.

For Diamond Lauderdale, Kent State University is not only her chosen college, it is her new home.

While growing up in Akron, Ohio, Ms. Lauderdale’s home life was challenging. She lived with her disabled father and worked two jobs to help make ends meet. Ms. Lauderdale’s father has been unable to walk for many years, and as she got older, her father’s condition worsened. Through it all, Ms. Lauderdale held onto a dream. She wanted to get a college education.

During his first year at Kent State University, Elijah Kirkland-Boyce realized that the road to the Dean’s List was a bumpy one, filled with twists and turns he never could have anticipated. Instead of giving up, Mr. Kirkland-Boyce reached out. He started taking advantage of the resources offered through Student Support Services.

Kellie Miley is the first to admit, when she graduated from Rootstown High School in 2008, she was not ready for college. In high school, she barely cracked a book yet managed a 3.2 grade point average (GPA).

Getting by with little effort changed when she started as a freshman at Kent State University. By the end of the year, Ms. Miley found herself academically dismissed for poor grades.

Kent State University senior Ashley Foster has known since third grade that she wanted a career as a chef.

The 20-year-old hospitality management major got a little closer to her dream over the summer when she spent a week training with celebrity chef Cat Cora at the chef’s headquarters in Santa Barbara, California.

Mariah Gray left her comfort zone, lived in the present and ventured where she never dreamed of going. Learn how this biology/pre-medicine major discovered new perspective 8000 miles from home.

This entrepreneur major utilizes paint brushes, vibrant colors and an unrestrained imagination to transform the human body into astounding works of art.

Austin Trzop is in Cincinnati to complete in the 37th National Veteran Wheelchair Games.

Trzop is a business and entrepreneurship major at Kent State University at Stark. Shortly after joining the Marines, Trzop became a paraplegic from a diving accident.

Trzop will compete in a variety of events including the air rifle and weightlifting.

The National Veteran Wheelchair Games take place July 17-22.

Antwan Dixon is overcoming the odds after receiving a life-saving blood transfusion from his father.

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