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Guest blogger Jonneshia Smith (Vance High School ’12, Charlotte, NC) shares her scholarship acceptance speech, that describes the impact her adviser, Ms. Marlowe (UNC ’11), had on her and her peers the past school year.

Hi, my name is Jonneshia Smith and I am currently a senior at Zebulon B. Vance High School. I am more than honored to be here tonight to give thanks to a woman who has made an everlasting impact on my life. At the beginning of this school year you could have asked me what I wanted to do with my life after receiving my diploma and I would have proudly told you that I wanted to attend a prestigious university to become a doctor or lawyer because I knew that’s what everyone wanted to hear. Yet inside I was lost and feared my future.

All of that changed the day I sat face to face with our school’s new college adviser Shaniqua Marlowe. We were speaking about my plans after high school and I was telling her that I did not feel prepared to take the next steps in my life, but with a warm smile she assured me that I was more than capable. The next time we crossed paths was through the Advance to College Club that she organized for all students who were determined to further their education after high school. She took it upon herself to encourage the whole school to join this club especially those who showed no sign of enthusiasm. Through the Advance to College Club we acquired a driving force that motivated us to take charge of our responsibilities and to be proactive as opposed to waiting for opportunities to fall in our paths.

Shaniqua Marlowe - Charlotte - MecklenburgThis experience truly changed my life because I was intimidated by college due to financial insecurities and I often doubted my potential but with her persistence and dedication I transformed into a confident student, and before the end of the semester I was among many of the seniors who had applied to more than six universities. Amazingly not only did I see progression within myself but I began to realize that she was engraving a tremendous influence on all of the kids at our school. Never in my life had I witnessed so many students passionate about taking their SAT’s, ACT’s and just simply applying to colleges. Ms. Marlowe was always there when we needed her. When a student walked into her office she would be able to identify them without having to look up or hear a voice. I watched her type a surplus of recommendation letters within seconds all while giving her ears to restless students.

I would be on my way to her office daily just to find that it was still overcrowded with my eager peers that craved her assistance and though her desk would be stacked with papers and at times she’d appear extremely fatigued, she would still help us and she would do so in such a tranquil manner. Ms. Marlowe is truly the most remarkable human being that I’ve ever encountered. She is kind, caring and loyal. But what strikes me the most about her is her empathy. I am always awed by this in particular because it is a trait that is truly rare and only one with a pure heart can possess such a gift.

Today ask me that same question, ask me what I want to do with my life after walking that stage. I can now proudly and truthfully say that I, Jonneshia Smith, will be attending North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in the fall of 2012 to double major in psychology and business management. I will then strive to further my education at a graduate school to pursue my PhD in industrial organizational psychology. After establishing a firm and stable ground within my career I will begin my next journey as a politician who will give her complete all into helping repair our perishing country.

And of course I could only hope to accomplish this all with the incomparable quality of devotion and sincerity as that of a young woman who graduated from her high school with an outstanding GPA and a full ride scholarship to NC A&T, ladies and gentlemen may you all please stand to give a round of applause to Ms. Shaniqua Marlowe.

Author: Jonneshia Smith, Zebulon B. Vance High School ’12, NC A&T State University ’16
College Adviser: Shaniqua Marlowe, First-Year Adviser at Zebulon B. Vance High School


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