Introducing the 2018-19 Girls on the Rise | Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City

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Introducing the 2018-19 Girls on the Rise

Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City is proud to partner with the 1,000 Dreams Fund and the BBBSKC Ambassadors once again to feature the 2018-2019 class of Girls on the Rise!

As a program that originated in Kansas City, we are also excited to announce that Girls on the Rise is expanding to four additional BBBS agencies across the country!

This year, 6 Little Sisters from the Kansas City area with extraordinary potential were selected as Girls on the Rise. As recipients of this honor, they'll receive funds to visit the colleges of their dreams! Meet this year's Girls on the Rise below.

Yesenia Valeria Abonce

Engineering is what's on Yesenia’s mind. The Grandview Senior High School senior graduates in May 2019, and she has big dreams. She wants to attend the Massachusetts Institution of Technology or the University of Missouri as the next step in her goal of becoming a chemical or mechanical engineer.

What is something you are most proud of?

I am most proud of the help I am getting to accomplish my dreams. I am also proud of the encouragement I am receiving, which helps me to keep moving forward and not give up.

Have you gone through any tough or challenging times? If yes, how did you deal with those challenges?

Yes, I’ve been through a lot of challenges. Some challenges I handled on my own and some I looked to support from others.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Girl on the Rise?

To me, it means so much. This program is going to help me a lot because I finally get to visit the college of my dreams. It’s also giving me even more hope that, one day, I will succeed and be who I always wanted to be.

What inspired you to want to be involved with Girls on the Rise?

Sue, my Big Sister [from Big Brothers Big Sisters], did. She helps me with everything to accomplish my goals.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? In other words: Why is the opportunity to visit your prospective colleges important to your journey?

It’s important for me because I feel like visiting my dream college will really help push me more than ever to accomplish my goals and dreams.

What schools will you use the funding to visit, and why?

I will be visiting MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] because it’s pretty much one of the best engineering schools around and I’ve always wanted to go there to pursue my dreams.

Jada Chew

You could say Jada ironically has just the right last name for pursuing a career in dentistry, which is exactly what she wants to do! The senior at Park Hill High School in Kansas City plans to go to community college before hopefully transferring to one of her dream schools: Texas A&M and Texas State University.

What is something you are most proud of?

I’m proud of having such big dreams and working to achieve my goals.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Girl on the Rise?

It means so much to me, and I am so thankful for this opportunity.

What inspired you to want to be involved with Girls on the Rise?

My mom!

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? In other words: Why is the opportunity to visit your prospective colleges important to your journey?

This will give me even more motivation to do my best in school and to take the next steps of my education seriously.

Jada Jackson-Adams

The University of Missouri, better known as Mizzou, is Jada's dream school where she wants to major in criminal justice and minor in performance arts. But, she’s also keeping her options open and considering some additional schools in Missouri. In addition to her career aspirations, she dreams about having a family of her own someday.

What is something you are most proud of?

I’m proud that I have a support system.

Have you gone through any tough or challenging times? If yes, how did you deal with those challenges?

I usually just leave it alone until it comes back up — or work hard to get rid of the challenges.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Girl on the Rise?

It means I have to make the most out of this opportunity, as I feel so lucky to be one of the girls that was selected.

What inspired you to want to be involved with Girls on the Rise?

My Big Sister [at Big Brothers Big Sisters] told me about it. She’s really big on education and she pushes me to do better, so this was an opportunity to prove to her and to myself that I could do it.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? In other words: Why is the opportunity to visit your prospective colleges important to your journey?

It is important because if you’ve never visited the colleges you’re interested in, then it’s hard to know if they are a good fit. Sometimes, when you are limited to the colleges that your high school takes you to, it feels like those are your only options.

Tatiana Marshall

Tatiana is currently considering two different career paths: pursuing a journalism degree or becoming a special needs teacher, hopefully at one of her top-pick schools of Emerson College or Loyola Marymount University. Regardless, the Pembroke Hill School junior has big dreams on her mind, as she wants to eventually move out of Kansas City and become a published author.

What is something you are most proud of?

Even when I encounter I obstacles, I do my best to get through them — and I’m proud of that!

Have you gone through any tough or challenging times? If yes, how did you deal with those challenges?

At the start of sophomore year, I was incredibly depressed and I couldn’t figure out why. I had been so excited to start the new school year, but after a couple of weeks, I didn’t want to go to school ever again. I had to meet with my counselor and advisor to work through this issue, but I think I eventually dealt with it by being as logical as possible. I had to realize that I would never be happy if I didn’t let myself be happy!

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Girl on the Rise?

I love that it is called “Girls On The Rise” because I think there is always room to grow, improve, and become a better person. We are all young girls whose lives haven’t even really started yet and we all have the potential to do whatever we set our minds to do. So, it truly means just that — a platform from which to grow and rise. I believe you can always rise.

What inspired you to want to be involved with Girls on the Rise?

I have always admired programs that encourage students and help them with resources and funding for college. So, I am truly grateful to be a part of something that allows me and others the opportunity to get a glimpse of what our futures can be like. Too many people don’t go to college or take certain jobs or make certain decisions because they lack proper guidance when they are young. I think being a part of GOTR will give me what Big Brothers Big Sisters has given me the past couple of years, which is guidance and reassurance.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? In other words: Why is the opportunity to visit your prospective colleges important to your journey?

I think you never know if you like something until you experience it. This actually happened to me with my high school. I toured it before attending, and I ended up feeling so welcome. But, before that tour, no part of me wanted to go there. It’s easy to let others tell you how to feel about something, especially when you aren’t sure what it’s even about. If I hadn’t attended my high school, I would have missed out on such an amazing opportunity. So, all that to say that I think visiting prospective colleges will help me decide what’s right for me and what isn’t; what I like and what I don’t like; and where I want to live for four years.

Alondra Nallely Torres Munoz

When Alondra, a junior at Lincoln College Prep, graduates from high school, she wants to pursue a career in physical therapy. She has her eye on the University of Kansas or the University of Missouri as the next step to help her achieve this goal.

What is something you are most proud of?

I am proud of maintaining a 3.7 GPA and above throughout my high school career and participating in extracurricular activities including ROTC, robotics, dance team, and the National Honor Society.

Have you gone through any tough or challenging times? If yes, how did you deal with those challenges?

I’ve gone through the challenge of being one of nine children in my household and not receiving the help or support I’ve needed throughout high school. I overcame this obstacle by staying focused on my work while being determined to give my best effort to my teachers’ assignments.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Girl on the Rise?

I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to be part of this program.

What inspired you to want to be involved with Girls on the Rise?

My inspiration was my big sister, Lindsay, because she has always motivated me to become a successful woman like her. Thanks to her, now I’m one step closer to going to college.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? In other words: Why is the opportunity to visit your prospective colleges important to your journey?

It is important to me that I visit the University of Missouri because I want to get a visual understanding of the campus.

LaToria Betty Campbell

LaToria is a Wyandotte High School junior with dreams to build a career in journalism or accounting. While she lives in Kansas City, she’s most interested in heading out of state for college — and later traveling even farther to see the world.

What is something you are most proud of?
 
I am most proud of the girl I have become. I outgrew my childish, playful ways and have become a hardworking, smart, and focused young woman who is on her way to achieving her goals.

Have you gone through any tough or challenging times? If yes, how did you deal with those challenges?

I’ve had some challenges with schoolwork, but I’ve done my best to persevere and ask teachers for help as well as stay after school and study.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Girl on the Rise?

It’s a big deal to me that I was selected because it’s such an honor and it means I get to visit my selection of colleges.

What inspired you to want to be involved with Girls on the Rise?

I was inspired by Big Brothers Big Sisters. Through them, I learned more about Girls on the Rise and my Big Sister inspired me to join.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? In other words: Why is the opportunity to visit your prospective colleges important to your journey?

This opportunity is very important for my future so I can travel and see the colleges that I want to attend before applying.

What schools will you use the funding to visit, and why?

The schools I will visit are University of Maryland, College Park and Mizzou [University of Missouri] because I want to go to a journalism school and I’m trying to pick which school will be best for me.