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STLCC-Forest Park Honors Emerging Scholars

November 14, 2013

Kalia White and Karen Swyers  
Kalia White, left, and her mentor, Forest Park Counselor
Kathleen Swyers. (Photo by Derrick Varner)

A new tradition to recognize motivated students working toward their goals continues at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park.

The Emerging Scholars program celebrates students’ success in overcoming academic challenges and have completed at least two developmental courses while maintaining a grade point average of 3.5 or above in their course work. Those who successfully complete course work on the Forest Park campus or at the William J. Harrison Education Center are eligible.

This fall, 81 students whose work has been exemplary in pursuit of academic excellence were honored as Emerging Scholars at an awards reception Nov. 13.

The STLCC-Forest Park program held its inaugural banquet last spring, with two $500 scholarships announced, and nearly 100 students recognized with certificates. For this school year, the committee moved it to become an annual fall celebration.

At the banquet, two $500 scholarships were awarded to Kalia White and Lakecia Bowser. White plans to further her education in art, as her career goal is to become a graphic designer and open her own advertising agency. She wants to use her creative vision to help businesses catch the eye of their customers. Bowser is studying human services, and plans to obtain both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. She wants to become a social worker and help improve the quality of life for children with special needs and individuals that may suffer social injustice. She is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and is an active volunteer at her church’s food pantry.

Each student received a certificate, and faculty and staff mentors were also recognized.

Ame Mead-Roach, dean of the Humanities and Social Studies division at STLCC-Forest Park, said they based the program on the models in existence at Florissant Valley and Meramec campuses, with a few tweaks to make it special for Forest Park.

“The Emerging Scholars program is a great way to recognize beginning students. It is a way to encourage our students to continue their hard work. I believe it is an excellent way to express our value for students who are doing the right things for their education,” Mead-Roach said.

“I was overwhelmed with happiness at the inaugural celebration. We were able to celebrate so many students and their hard academic work. It was a pleasure to see these students get well-earned recognition,” she said.

A committee prepares a list of eligible students, who are then invited to apply to become an Emerging Scholar. The application asks students to describe their education and career goals, community service and extracurricular activities. Students are also encouraged to identify a mentor who has been supportive to them at STLCC-Forest Park on their application.

The committee hopes to award two gifts per year to eligible students, and is working to gather donations.

“The work of the committee is to support students and their hard work,” Mead-Roach said.

Cindy Hess, president of the Forest Park campus, was proud of the campus mentors who supported the students in accomplishing their goals.

“I was particularly impressed to see the number of faculty and staff who were named by our students as their mentors. Their attention to our students makes a huge difference in their persistence and success,” she said.

Public donations to the Forest Park Emerging Scholars Fund are welcome. Individuals interested in donating are encouraged to contact the St. Louis Community College Foundation at 314-539-5472.