Happy Fall! We can’t believe summer programs ended over two months ago. As we reflect on a great June and July, we wanted to share some amazing 2022 stats:
- This summer’s programs were bigger than ever, with students hailing from 24 states and 3 countries.
- More than $200,000 in scholarships were awarded to Summer College students alone – and that doesn’t even count the automatic tuition scholarships!
And it seems like that growth has carried over to fall semester, where we’re also proud to say that we have welcomed a record-breaking freshman class. However, no matter how many new people we welcome, Ole Miss remains the kind of place where everyone can find their place.
Another milestone we’re celebrating this fall is the 60th Anniversary of the Integration of the University of Mississippi, when James Meredith became the first Black student to be officially admitted. Despite bureaucratic resistance and even, in the end, a riot on campus, James Meredith persisted with support from the federal court system. In 1963, he completed his bachelor’s degree. Here at the University, Meredith’s courage and leadership are a continuous source of inspiration, challenging us to carry forward the work that he started.
This pivotal moment in Civil Rights history will be celebrated throughout the year with a series of events. You can learn more and join in the celebration by visiting the 60 Years website.
Wednesday, November 2, 6:00 p.m. CST
Recommended for high school juniors: Meet with past Lotties to learn what a summer with the Lott Leadership Summer Institute for 12th Graders has to offer you. Our student panel will share their experiences and take your questions.
You don’t have to be nominated yet – just join the conversation!
Kendal Shoemaker, 2021 Rebel Quest Counselor, now works for the University of Mississippi Mash Magazine and has also taken on some mentoring roles as a writing consultant in the Writing Center, an Inclusion Connect Mentor, and the Black Student Union Community Service Coordinator. An English major, she has joined honor societies and gives back to the community through the Wear It Well Christian nonprofit.
Matthew Williams (Summer College 2021) graduated with distinction in French, History, and Math from High School. He has been accepted to study Civil Engineering at Imperial College London with a president’s scholarship. The program offers an integrated bachelors/masters program and he is excited for the opportunity to study abroad.
Share your updates with us! It only takes a few minutes:
Where are you from and how did you land at Ole Miss?
I’m from Clarksdale, Mississippi. I landed at Ole Miss due to receiving a full tuition scholarship after becoming the valedictorian of my graduating class in 2020. Ole Miss was always one of my top choices and receiving the full scholarship definitely impacted my final decision to enroll.
Share with us one or two of your favorite memories of your time with Pre-College Programs. What stands out when you look back?
One of my favorite memories from Pre-College Programs was the time when we had ice cream for all the kids, counselors, and staff. Another was also our daily time outside with the kids, being interactive with them and really just having an exciting time being around their young, curious minds. When I look back at my time with Pre-College, what stands out to me is the closeness I had with the majority of people who participated from the directors of the program, to my fellow counselors, teachers, and the children most of all.
In what way has involvement with Pre-College Programs contributed to your success?
Pre-College served as the foundation to my current success as a student, entrepreneur, aspiring recording artist, and philanthropist. I learned while being a part of the program that it is okay to be my true self. Being around the children everyday reminded me of who I truly was, what I truly loved to do, and how I wanted to change my life for the better. That led to me getting involved and organizing my very first community service project while serving as a Pre-College Programs’ RebelQuest counselor. This also led to me starting my own clothing brand for mental health awareness promoting self-confidence. Pre-College Programs really changed my whole life for the better. I couldn’t be more appreciative for everyone in the program for continuously supporting me on my journey.
What are you doing now academically or professionally that excites you?
This school year, I have become an ambassador for the School of Journalism and New Media. I am also Community Service Director for the Men of Excellence organization on campus. I have had two performances recently on the Square launching my new career as a recording artist in the music industry. My first performance was a part of the Art2Me show located at the Powerhouse in Oxford where I performed 3 original songs of mine. I also just recently had my first ever solo performance at Rockhouse Live where I performed 3 songs as well.
This past summer I participated as a mentor in the MOST Conference on campus. Participating in MOST was the best part of my summer because I was able to connect, give advice to, have fun with, and even learn from high school seniors who looked like me on this campus showing them how opportunities are just waiting on them to take initiative in this world in order to achieve the various types of success they may have been seeking. I also connected and grew close with my fellow mentors, peer coordinators, faculty, and staff of MOST. We all really became one big family at the end of the day and that was the most special part of it all.
Where are you headed academically or professionally? What's your next move after this one?
I am currently in my junior year majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications and minoring in General Business. For the summer of 2023, I am planning to do a study abroad internship in London, England, in media & marketing. I am looking forward to this because it will tremendously benefit me academically and professionally as a student entrepreneur. I have expanded my clothing brand company under the name Jay Marquis, Inc. This serves as a holding company for both my clothing brand for mental health awareness as well as my newfound entertainment agency, Jay Marquis Entertainment, LLC. Goals for Jay Marquis Entertainment include having our own subsidiaries of a management agency, talent agency, record label, music distribution, and music publishing, and video/film production. Last week, I was granted the opportunity from Chancellor Glenn Boyce to present my life story and Jay Marquis business to the University of Mississippi’s Senior Leadership Group. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity I will not take for granted. I’m so very thankful for Chancellor Boyce continuously supporting me not only as a student but also as an emerging young businessman on the path to success in this world of opportunities.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would first thank my younger self for being very strong and courageous going through very tough times in life but never giving up. Advice I would give my younger self is to stay true to who the real Jhalen Wells is and never be afraid of reaching my full potential because I might just be surprised and overwhelmed from the blessings and results.
October is Fall for the FAFSA time! The FAFSA opened October 1st, and it’s always best to submit your FAFSA as early as you can. Why? There are a few reasons:
- Many schools and states award aid on a rolling basis, which means they have the most aid to award early in the season. Getting there sooner means more money.
- Whether or not you think you’ll get aid, submitting that FAFSA increases your chances of getting an accurate estimate of your aid package before college decision deadlines. Many schools require the FAFSA before they will review scholarship applications.
- Senior year is busy, so checking this off your list now is a good idea.
Lots of students worry that completing the FAFSA will be a challenge, but there are resources out there to help you. Remember – never pay to have someone help with your FAFSA. It is the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid by name, after all.
- This handy video shows how to complete the form but, if you’re a Mississippi resident, you can also attend one of Get2College’s fantastic events or book an appointment to get assistance.
- You can use your family’s tax forms from two years ago, so no worries that you have to wait on your parents or guardians to get that done.
- Save trouble by completing all fields. Leaving them blank means they may reject your application or follow up with you for verification, delaying your process.
- Complete the application online and it will be processed more quickly.
What are you waiting for? You can start today!