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Scholarship Essay 2013

I first want to extend my utmost gratitude for the scholarship check YAP awarded to me in 2012. I was so grateful for the financial assistance the scholarship provided. I was able to pay for my textbooks, application fees, and the other small fees that come with pursing a higher education. College can be a very difficult, stressful, and time consuming; however, I was a little bit less stressed during this past semester because I did not have to worry about how I was going to pay for my textbooks. I am still actively working towards my degree at Kean University and I am entering into my third year in the fall of 2013. I am very pleased to say that I have made the Dean's list for the past two semesters and I have a GPA of 3.74.

I would like to take the time to tell you about what I've been doing this semester and the discoveries I've made about myself, my future, and my education. Last semester I was an English major. I was awfully uncertain about what options I had after graduation and if I was even in the right major. I was getting mixed advice from the people around me which added to the uncertainty I was feeling. It took a little bit of soul searching and a lot of thinking, but I took actions towards adding education to my major and making it a double major. As I stated before in my letter last year I did very poorly in middle school, but thanks to my teachers, parents, and mentors I saw the value of an education. I found the value of education through reading. I learned to love reading and to see it as a beautiful escape. When I started to do well in language arts I began to see improvements in my other subjects as well. This is what has motivated me to pursue a career as a K-12 educator. I hope that when I have a class of my own and there is a student who doesn't see the importance of school that I can somehow change their opinion and help them to appreciate reading and learning.

Although I sometimes think about my capability to lead a classroom successfully I have learned that it's okay to be a little nervous and it's okay to be a little unsure. I haven't figured out everything yet but that is completely fine. I have my junior and senior years to iron out the fine details. I have learned that I do have the intelligence to succeed in school and the options to choose what I want with my future. Also, I have learned how to be a leader through the clubs and groups I have become involved with in school and I have learned how to make decisions. I have done so much growing from my freshman to my sophomore year. I still have a lot of self discovery to go through.

I hope that the YAP program will continue to support me as I continue to work towards the advancement of my education. I am writing this letter in regards to receiving a scholarship to aid me in my goal of achieving a higher education. Academics at a college level can be stressful, but coming up with the funds to attend college can be even more difficult and stressful. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and I hope that you will consider my request.

Nomination Letter 2013

Tynetta Magruder,
Morris/Sussex County YAP

Lakesha was awarded a scholarship in 2012 and has worked diligently to make YAP proud by being a model student. She is currently in her sophomore year at Kean University and is on the Dean's List. Her desire is to become a teacher and to work with the middle school population. She is well on her way toward achieving her goal with her hard work and dedication to her academics.

I am recommending Lakesha for another YAP scholarship in 2013 as she continues to excel and defy the odds due to the intervention that she received from our program. She is truly a YAP success story and will be an attribute as a future teacher. I wish Lakesha much success in all of her future endeavors as she works toward her goal of a college degree.

Scholarship Essay 2012

Lakesha Cameron

Eight years ago I moved from the hustle and bustle of Hackensack, New Jersey to a quaint little town in the suburbs not even located on the map. I went from sidewalks and everything in walking distance to trees, lakes, fresh air, and a need for a car. As a nine year-old child change isn't usually something you tend to favor and I was no exception. My new home was bearable and the pool in the backyard was an upgrade from dancing in the sprinklers. School wasn't something I was looking forward to and what I expected was what I got. I couldn't make friends and I was teased. Loneliness and bullying aren't exactly the key components of a perfect educational environment. I did poorly in school like anyone would expect from a depressed child. I certainly had the intelligence to keep up and the ability to do well, but I was lacking motivation.

During my first year in middle school, scolding from my teacher and detention for missing homework assignments were things which I became accustomed. I eventually made friends but it was too late for that; my mentality for failure was already set. You are often oblivious to a few things in youth, such as the pain you can cause someone. The stress and the heartache of watching your child fail miserably was something my mother and father had to deal with. They looked everywhere for help: school, tutors, even therapy. They stumbled upon YAP after a year of searching and disappointment. I'm not exactly sure how my parents found out about YAP, but one day I was introduced to Tynetta Magruder.

I didn't know it then but Tynetta would become my mentor, the motivation I needed to do well, and a friend. Tynetta helped me with everything from school work, to organizational skills and my personal happiness. Improving in my academics was our top priority. Although we spent a lot of time on my school work we did many other things as well. We would sometimes spend afternoons at the park, and I got to interact with some of the other kids in the program as well which built great friendships. The time I spent in the YAP program really changed me for the better. I turned my life around from pathetic grades to honor roll. I managed to stay on honor roll throughout high school, and not once was I reprimanded for misbehavior. I am not sure where I would be today without the help of the YAP program and Tynetta.

I was accepted at Kean University after graduating in 2011 from Lenape Valley Regional High School. Currently, I am a freshman at Kean University finishing my first year of college. I am pursing a degree in English education. I am planning to become a teacher and focus on secondary education. I ran into Tynetta at a store over the summer before the start of my freshman year. She informed me that I was able to obtain a scholarship through YAP. I am writing this letter in regard to the possibility of receiving a scholarship to aid me in my goal of achieving a higher education. Academics at a college
level can be stressful, but coming up with the funds to attend college can be difficult and even more stressful. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and I hope that you will consider my request.

Nomination Letter 2012

Tynetta Magruder

I am writing you on behalf of Lakesha Cameron. Lakesha was a student who participated in the Morris Sussex Youth Advocate Program. I was the youth mentor and advocate assigned to her case while she participated in the program.

When I first met Lakesha she had relocated to Byram, New Jersey with her family and was having problems adjusting to the new environment due to the move. Lakesha had been reclassified as a student in the new school district and placed into special education classes as a result. Lakesha had been an honor roll student in her previous school district and this was very disheartening to her parents who preached the value of a good education. I had a heart to heart discussion with Lakesha's mother, Marva after our intake meeting and she was very concerned about Lakesha and her reclassification as a student in the new school district. Marva knew Lakesha's potential as a student and wanted her to achieve her long term goal of going to college. This meant that I as the advocate and mentor for Lakesha had to develop a service plan to focus on getting Lakesha mainstreamed into regular classes and out of the special education classes along with Lakesha regaining her honor roll status in the new school district.

I worked with Lakesha on a weekly basis helping her to develop better study habits, organize her homework assignments and to discuss the challenges of her adjusting to the new environment and learning to fit in. We spent a lot of time in the library working on projects and homework to make sure Lakesha did everything that was expected of her so she could be successful. I made sure Lakesha understood early on the challenges we faced and that by working together we could get to the goal of her being mainstreamed into regular classes. In addition, Lakesha got a chance to meet and interact with other YAP students and formulate relationships during different social events and community based activities. This helped Lakesha to realize how blessed she was to have her family and their support.

I watched Lakesha blossom into the honor student that she already had in her and get mainstreamed back into the regular class environment. The YAP program helped Lakesha because she was able to meet her goal of graduating in June 2010 from Lenape Valley Regional High School with honors. Lakesha is currently a freshman attending Kean University majoring in English education with an expected graduation date in 2015. Lakesha aspires to be an English teacher who inspires others through education. Lakesha is a YAP success story.

I am especially proud of Lakesha and her accomplishments. I am an advocate and mentor who believes in the value of a good education. I was fortunate to be able to work with Lakesha and to see the end results of how YAP made a difference in her life and now she is working toward making a difference for future students by aspiring to be a teacher. I am recommending Lakesha for the YAP scholarship so that she can continue to work toward her long term goal of obtaining a college degree and pay it forward for future generations.