Were you aware that 2/3 of adults experiencing homelessness have not received a high school diploma or completed a GED?

Scholar Spotlight: Jolanda Burton

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The NAEHCY Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to students who have demonstrated commitment to education during the experience of homelessness.

Jolanda BurtonJolanda Burton, NAEHCY Scholarship Class of 2007, received her Bachelor of Science in Business Entrepreneurship from Norfolk State University in 2012, and her Master of Business Administration, Project Management concentration from Liberty University in 2015. She has received numerous awards, including the Yoshiyama Award from the Hitachi Foundation, the Prudential Spirit of the Community Award, and Girls Going Places Scholarship from the Guardian Network.

We interviewed Jolanda for the May 2016 edition of NAEHCY News.

What do you have planned, or hope to do in the next 3-5 years?

Within the next five years, I hope that I will have launched and unaccompanied youth and foster care higher education care package delivery project with another NAEHCY scholar. NAEHCY scholars have a broad spectrum of talents and know what it’s like to lose encouragement and motivation to complete college due to lack of support.

Most importantly, I plan to pursue my career in nonprofit management, as an effort to bring awareness of unaccompanied youth and how the population is underprivileged and overlooked due to state and federal laws. I aspire to give back to NAECHY what the organization has given to me – opportunity for a new start…the opportunity to be the best individual I can be. I used to think that I grew into a paragon by mistake, but day after day, I realize that it’s my calling. I was born to fight for the individuals who had been silenced, who have suffered, and who have endured circumstances due to no fault of their own. I fight for the support that I was not afforded during my journey.

What is your favorite quote, motto, sentiment or inspiration?

“I am not my past, but a true gift to the future…”
Is there anything you’d like to say about your experience with NAEHCY?

It has been a great honor to become a NAEHCY scholar, as I am a living testament that ambitions, handwork, and prayers do not go unanswered. Since the annual homeless conference in 2007, I have been fortunate to establish a support network of individuals who aid me in accomplishing my goals, taking the place of blood relatives, and advocating for other homeless youth. Above all things, I thank specific NAEHCY members for encouraging me to heal from my past and continue to work toward a brighter future.

Read more NAEHCY News

NAEHCY 2018 Conference
Anaheim, CA
October 27-30, 2018
The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015
Homeless Students in ESEA Reauthorization
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