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JaKayla S., 17 – Funded

“I will be the first grandchild to go to college and pursue my dreams!” says JaKayla, a senior at Bloomington High School in Bloomington, Illinois who wants to be a pediatric nurse. The accomplished student and Girl on the Rise is considering a number of schools, including her dream school: Michigan State University.

What is something you are most proud of?

I’m proud of passing the nursing program at school!

Have you gone through any tough or challenging times? If yes, how did you deal with those challenges?

I was bullied when I was in grammar school. But I learned that you just have to stay focused and keep pushing forward.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Girl on the Rise?

It means the world to me and my family.

What inspired you to want to be involved with Girls on the Rise?

I’ve always wanted to participate in several programs that allow me to be a positive leader and role model for my peers and underclassmen. I’ve also been a part of Girl Scouts, 4H, and SMART Girls.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? In other words: Why is the opportunity to visit your prospective colleges important to your journey?

This will help tremendously. My mom is a single parent and she can only do so much, but she tries very hard and always makes a way.

What schools will you use the funding to visit, and why?

Southern Illinois University in Carbondale or Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois.