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Destiny Hester

Upward Bound student Destiny Hester nets more than $80,000 in scholarships

Destiny Hester’s hard work completing college applications, dedicating herself to her studies, volunteering and applying for scholarships has paid off: the JU Upward Bound student and Ribault High School graduate has won a Jacksonville Commitment Scholarship and a First Church Hopewell scholarship, worth a total of more than $80,000.

Hester has been a high-achieving participant of Jacksonville University’s Upward Bound, a program that provides support to participants in their preparation for college entrance.upward-bound

“Destiny is a remarkable young woman in every sense of the word …  she and has shown maturity and devotion toward her coursework, and has taken full advantage of our academic and college experience,” said JU Upward Bound Program Coordinator Staci Sams. “She is very responsible, and willing to acknowledge and overcome trials that may arise and make the best of them. Destiny never fails to go beyond the average expectations and far exceeds many of her peers. I am sure she will excel in whatever endeavors she embarks on. … She is well on her way to success.”

In addition to working and keeping up with her academics of rigorous courses of AP Calculus and AP English Literature, Hester also found time to volunteer at various organizations in Jacksonville, with more than 125 hours of community service. She is also a member of Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, and is a College Ready Graduate and Trojan Scholar.

The Jacksonville Commitment Scholarship is a partnership among JU, the University of North Florida, Edward Waters College and Florida State College at Jacksonville. It covers all direct costs, including tuition, books and housing. Priority is given to students who who take part in a college access program with a Commitment College Advisor or a comparable school-, church- or community-based program. Hester has been a participant in the Jacksonville University Upward Bound Program since June 2012 and plans to attend UNF with a major in psychology. She also plans to pursue graduate studies. Her First Church Hopewell award in the amount of $20,000 brings the total value of the two scholarships to more than $80,000.

Upward Bound is part of TRIO, a set of federally funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. More than 840,000 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities — from sixth grade through college graduation — are served by more than 2,900 programs nationally.

Yolanda Thomas, JU Upward Bound Academic Counselor