Jhudanne, 17 – Funded

While her Jamaican heritage has shaped her individuality, her love of animals has guided Jhudanne’s professional dreams. The Raytown Senior High School senior wants to major in biology before attending veterinary college to specialize in zoological medicine. She has her eye on University of Florida after she graduates next May.

What is something you are most proud of?

I am most proud of my heritage. I definitely have no hesitation telling others that my family is Jamaican. Growing up in America as an immigrant has definitely helped shape my sense of individuality, so my culture is something that I hold dear to my heart.

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

I think the most challenging period in my life was at the end of my freshman year when my mom passed away. Not only did I have to learn how to deal with genuine grief, but I also had to adjust to moving in with my aunt’s family while maintaining good grades in school. Through these challenges, I have learned that the best way to muscle through them is by allowing yourself to depend on people around you. I now know that most people want to help you out in any way they can, and even the smallest bit of assistance makes a difference — especially if it comes in the form of taco soup!

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

I am more than ecstatic to be involved in this program because it gives me a better chance of attending my dream college. As a Girl on the Rise, I also get the opportunity to be part of a community of driven girls who have a similar college-oriented mindset.

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

I was inspired to join Girls on the Rise about a year-and-a-half ago at the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City banquet. It was the first time I had heard of the program, but from the start, I knew that this was definitely something that I wanted to do. My Big Sister Beth, who is an avid supporter of my dreams, encouraged me a lot, as well. In fact, she was the one who reminded me to apply for the scholarship!

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?

I believe that visiting a college campus plays a vital role in deciding what university is best suited for you. Since the University of Florida is my number one choice, I feel that this visit is my most important — especially since it’s so far away from where I live now. I can do online research about the campus, but it wouldn’t have the same effect as walking around to see what a day as a student is actually like. Before committing to a college, I want to experience the reality of a normal day instead of looking at the staged pictures provided by the university.

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

I plan to use the funding to visit University of Florida because when all costs are put into consideration, it is by far my most expensive college visit.