|Posted by Jada Shipp Meeks on May 13, 2010 at 10:05 AM|
April 22, 2010
Dear Dr. Meeks
“Mom, do you have tenthousand dollars ($10,000)?” asked Anthony. It was a few days before Christmas in 1998 and I remember this day likeit was yesterday. Because I was so stunnedby my child, an eight year old, asking me for such a large amount of money, Ihad to ask him what he needed the money for. His response was I need it for college, because I will be going inanother 10 years. He continued, “Tenthousand dollars ($10,000) is not going to be enough money, I will need more because college is so expensive.” Icould tell that Anthony had been talking to my cousin Sharon (who was visitingfrom Japan, which is where she was working at the time as an International Banker). I was glad that she had talkedto him about money for college, but I was sadden because I did not have tencents in my bank account at the time and did not see how I would have $10,000in another 10 years. It had always been my goal for Anthony to attend collegeso I had instilled in him to make A’s in school and to always be on his bestbehavior so he would always receive E’s and S’s in conduct. I knew if he was to attend college it wouldhave to be on an academic scholarship, because he was not involved in sports at school.
It must have been divineintervention when we were introduced to the ESU Scholars program. Anthony joined the ESU Scholars program as ajunior in High School. This was truly ablessing because the program increased Anthony’s knowledge of how to apply forcollege using the common application. Anthony applied to eighteen (18) colleges and universities using thecommon application online process. WhenI asked him why he applied to so many colleges he replied, “The commonapplication process is so simple I just clicked the button and applied.” Little did I know that the actualapplication process entailed more than just a click and you are accepted. When he showed me his Common Applicationprofile and I was able to see the colleges that he had applied to (Vanderbilt,Wabash, Rhodes, California Lutheran, Pomona College, Miami, University ofMemphis, Christian Brothers, Morehouse, Tuskegee) to name a few. I noticed thathe had to complete the entire process which included him having to 1) answerquestions and/or write essays, 2) send his high school transcript to theadmissions office and 3) get letters of recommendation from teachers. All of this had to be completed and turnedin by a specific deadline in order for the application process to becomplete.
In the end, after making several midnight trips to the post office before closing to mail applicationpackets to schools all eighteen colleges application’s process was complete. Knowing the importance of thedeadlines came from listening to Dr. Meeks during one of the workshops aboutthe application process that was held by the ESU Scholars program
All of the trips to the Post Office, all of the time spent taking Anthony to the ESU workshops and ACT prep classes paid off tremendously when the college acceptance letters were receivedin the mail box.
In the end Anthony received over $700.000.00 in scholarships and financial aid awards from the colleges listed for four years.
I, as a parent realize thatthe ESU scholars program coupled with the knowledge that Anthony received fromhis high school (City University School of Liberal Arts), Anthony would not have been properly equipped to know how to complete the college application process successfully.
Many thanks to Dr. Jada Meeks and the ESU Scholars program for your role in helping my son, AnthonyMaples, II to become a Rhodes Scholar, he is approaching the end of his sophomore year.
I already know that I will be enrolling my 4th grader, Aliyah in the ESU Scholars program when she is in the 6th grade. Imagine the knowledge she will have obtained her 6th – 12th grade year. As always, you have my support, please call on me to help at any time.
Our community needs more programs such as the ESU Scholars to be available for them. They are competing with students from across the world for colleges and jobs after high school.
Much success in all of your endeavors!