When Jordan Wilkins was a senior in high school, he thought he knew what he wanted after graduation – a career in the United States Air Force. However, his principal envisioned a different path, one where he would soar sky-high, not in a plane but at a four-year university.
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.
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.
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.