By Yolanda Thomas
JU Upward Bound
The odds may have been a challenge for Jacksonville University Upward Bound student Chanice Howard, but don’t ever count her out.
Out of more than 52,000 students who applied nationwide for a 2014-15 Gates Millennium Scholarship, the Lee High School senior is one of just 1,000 to receive one to help her achieve her dream of going to college.
Howard, who was featured in a Florida Times-Union article about the scholarships, has elected to attend the University of Florida, and while she always knew she wanted to attend college, she said she did not always know the path to get there. In 2011, she was accepted into JU Upward Bound, a pre-collegiate program for low-income and first-generation students that helps them succeed in their pre-college performance and higher education pursuits.
“Chanice is admired and respected by students and staff alike, and it is truly a success to see a student’s dream come to reality,” said JU Upward Bound Program Director Cee Cee Severin, who has seen her flourish over the past three years. “She is one of the student leaders in our program, has been an essential participant in many events and has been elected to the Student Government Association two years in a row. She sets an outstanding example for her peers and encourages them to do well in all of their endeavors.”
The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education. Because the program requires the student to commit to six weeks during the summer and Saturdays during the academic year for three years, Chanice has shown she is strong-minded and willing to sacrifice.
In addition to graduating this month from Lee High School, she is also earning her Associates of Arts degree from Florida State College at Jacksonville as a dual-enrolled student. She is ranked in the top 10 percent of her high school class, and in the fall will begin at UF, where she plans to complete her bachelor’s degree in biomedical science, After that, her plans are to attend pharmacy college to become a research pharmacist.
Gates Scholars are allowed to attend any U.S. accredited college or university of their choice. The renewable scholarship is based on the GMS guidelines. Students are also eligible for fellowship funding if they pursue graduate studies in Computer Science, Education, Engineering, Library Science, Mathematics, Public Health or Science at the master’s and doctoral levels.
In addition to the college funding, students participate in the GMS Freshmen Leadership Conference, as well as receive services to support them throughout their education, with graduate school planning and mentoring. Students are also able to connect with other GMS recipients via social networking and the online resource center.