GPS Project Update #3

GPS Project Update #3

Dear Community, 

We are very excited to report that six (6) Northside High School students will receive a $350 GPS Scholarship to be given directly to their post-secondary school of choice to assist with books and/or fees. 

The GPS team worked closely with Ms. Jessica Grogan’s senior students at Northside High over a period of five months (January to May) to help them prepare for the March ACT exam given at school, assist with completing FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), and complete the application process to their schools of choice. We also conducted a financial literacy workshop with seniors to discuss the true cost of adulting. Students learned about life insurance, rent vs. mortgage, credit management, budgeting daily expenses, and correlated these costs to their earning potential in their careers of choice. 

The following Northside students completed all GPS requirements and have been selected to receive GPS Scholarships. These students were recognized during Senior Awards Night on May 15th: 

Shamiya Morrison – University of Louisiana Lafayette 

Mac’Kinze Williams – Unitech Training Academy 

Amari Williams – Infinity College
Deneyah Celestine – Infinity College 

Bakari Thomas – South Louisiana Community College India Antoine – South Louisiana Community College 

Unitech Training Academy under the leadership of Noah Brandon also awarded FULL Scholarships to Arquetta Celestine and Mac’Kinze Williams for their interest and commitment to continuing their educational journey at Unitech Training Academy. These young ladies were also recognized during Northside High School’s Senior Awards Night. 

Our next steps for GPS Project include walking these students through completing the enrollment process for their schools of choice to ensure they have a smooth transition from high school to post-secondary education. 

Our pitch for the GPS Project focuses primarily on graduating Seniors. Our experience during these few months highlights the dire need to begin walking alongside students much sooner than senior year to ensure they are in the best position to have options and make informed decisions about their future. Ms. Grogan and Mr. Darby, Northside High’s senior counselor have done a wonderful job exposing students to options that are available to them. While working with students, we learned that many simply did not follow through with applications or became stagnant when ran into an obstacle or a question they did not know the answer to. Many students would benefit from developing executive functioning skills and communication skills needed to navigate through some of these processes.

Our goal is to continue working alongside Ms. Grogan and Mr. Darby next school year to offer more hands-on assistance with students and hopefully begin working with 9th -11th grade students as well. 

Thank you Team GPS Project

GPS Project Update #3

GPS Project Update #2

Dear Community,

Since our last update, Team GPS met with Brandon Noah of Unitech Training Academy and Mr. Darby, Northside High School’s Senior Counselor, to determine eligibility requirements for three (3) Northside High School Seniors to receive FULL academic scholarships to Unitech Training Academy. We will interview six (6) Northside High Seniors on February 8 to finalize the Unitech Scholarship Recipients to attend Unitech after graduation. 

One of the objectives of the GPS Project is to provide guidance and resources to help students improve their ACT scores. On February 3, Team GPS met with NHS JAG students to discuss the significance of taking the ACT. Team GPS will begin ACT Prep with forty (40) JAG students on February 6 until March 7 when juniors and seniors take the ACT exam given by the school district.

Team GPS held it’s second JAG Academic Celebration at Northside on January 27. Students who earned a 3.0 or above with no D’s or F’s and/or successfully achieved their 2nd 9-weeks S.M.A.R.T. goals were awarded a certificate, movie pass, and sweet treats from Nuthin Bundt Cakes.

We are excited about every opportunity to connect with Northside JAG students to provide guidance, encouragement, and resources to help them transition to post-secondary education.

Thank you again for your support.

Karen Dugas & Team GPS

GPS Project Update #3

GPS Project Update #1

Dear Community,

On November 14, 2022, just two weeks after 24HCP, The U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona released this statement, “It’s time we bridge the divide between our K-12 systems and our college, career, and industry preparation programs, which leave too many students behind and perpetuate inequities in our most diverse, underserved, and rural communities.“

His Dear Colleague Letter goes on to reiterate the importance of implementing programs like The GPS Project that will provide academic coaching to help students navigate the complicated process of career discovery to enrollment into a postsecondary school or workforce program. 

As a result of 24HCP and our community, The GPS Team is building partnerships and acquiring resources to help students in our community take intentional steps towards entering postsecondary schools or workforce programs immediately after high school.

This month, we will meet with Noah Brandon, President of Unitech Training Academy to discuss scholarship eligibility and guidelines for Northside High School seniors. We have also met with The Master’s Guild of Acadiana and learned how students can gain skills-based training to begin a career in construction even while in high school. And we talked to a Lafayette Parish School Board member to inform them of the initiative of our national Department of Education to increase the number of students transitioning to postsecondary schools and workforce programs. Our team is discovering that a major component of The GPS Project is making our schools and community aware of traditional and nontraditional postsecondary opportunities that are available in our community.

The GPS Team has completed the volunteer form and background check at LPSS to begin academic coaching with Northside High School JAG students starting in January 2023! 

Our team would like to thank 24HCP, Backers, and our community for the overwhelming “cheering on” and support we have already received. Many open doors will happen for our students because of your concern and generosity.

Many thanks,

Karen Dugas & The GPS Team