South Beach Battioke
Scholarship Foundation Miami

JESSICA

University of Houston,  Human Resource Management and Marketing

I always knew I was going to go to college. Not going was never an option. My parents, my high school, and I made sure to take the proper actions to get me prepared and ready for this step. Although, I don’t really think anyone can really expect what is to come. Going to college, all three that I have attended, allows students to take full control of their schedules. You can decide what to major in, what time to schedule class, what groups/student organizations to join, and more. There is so much independence that comes with it. Take Charge has helped me so much throughout that process. When I second guessed my major and school choice, they were there to help me. They encouraged me to pursue what interested me most. They invested in me and that has been the biggest source of motivation to do well. I want to make them proud and prove why I am deserving of their help and time. Being a part of the Take Charge family has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Take Charge is not like any other organization. They care. They care about how each one of us is doing and I am grateful to have been chosen as a recipient.

I am currently attending the University of Houston studying Human Resource Management and will graduate Fall 2017. I never really had an option when it came to college. My parents always expected me to go and so did I. Being a first generation student has not been the easiest but it has definitely been worth it. I had to learn how to almost everything by myself. That included filling out admissions applications and FAFSA.

I heard about the Take Charge Foundation through my high school – KIPP Houston. I was applying to every scholarship my college counselor told us about and this was no exception. I honestly believed that receiving any scholarship was going to be a long shot. I was thrilled and full of disbelief when I was called to interview. I never thought I would get to meet Shane, Heidi or anyone on the Take Charge team. To my surprise, we have actually become a pretty close group. We can email or group message when we want. There is a clear line of communication between all of us. My relationships with Shane, Heidi, and Newell are one of the main reasons I feel privileged to be a part of this organization. They are some of the kindest, most intelligent, and considerate people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Through Take Charge, I have learned that I have the strength to take risks. The team knew I was unhappy at the previous school I attended and gave me the courage I needed to transfer. That also included my choice to change majors. As a person that is usually not fond of change, that was a huge step for me. Without the support I received from the Take Charge Foundation, I would have never done either.

I had no idea Shane was so down-to-earth and passionate about this organization. It surprised me how kind and caring Heidi is towards everyone she meets. When I met Newell I was so embarrassed to have ever called her “Mr” and at the way she handled it with such grace and humor. Most of all, I was most surprised at how they really thought of us as their kids.

Right now I am trying to maintain my GPA. After I graduate, I want to either begin working in a human resources profession or go to graduate school. In 5 years I see myself working, being independent, and traveling with my significant other. In 10 years I hope I have advanced in my career field, have a family, and (most importantly) still happy. If I could give advice to a high school student, I would tell them that the major you choose does not limit you to a certain career for the rest of your life, but choose something that makes you happy. College overall can be overwhelming so don’t forget to have fun. Lastly, take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you.