Coca-Cola Scholar puts down roots at KSU
KENNESAW, Ga. (Jun 28, 2019) — Psychology major Jamie Lowe built a strong support network at Kennesaw State University to help her succeed during her first year as a college student. Now as she prepares for the start of her second year, Lowe is looking forward to sharing her experiences to help first-year students adjust to college life.
Lowe is the first in her family to attend college. “The process of applying for college and figuring out financial aid intimidated me, but I found support through several programs,” Lowe said.
During her senior year of high school, Lowe joined KSU’s Thrive Scholars program, designed to help high-achieving students transition into college and keep their HOPE scholarships. The program provides workshops, early visits to campus and a community of student scholars to call on for support.
“Thrive provided a group of people to help me,” said Lowe, who served as a leader for the program during her first year. “The program let me connect with other students going through their first year. The support of the Thrive community and fellow Thrive leaders made me feel at home at KSU,” she said.
It was in her Thrive group that she first heard of the Coca-Cola First Generation and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Scholars program, which provides scholarships and wraparound services to students who are first in their immediate families to seek college degrees.
“Some of the staff mentioned this scholarship, and I knew getting it would allow me to better focus on my studies instead of having to work several jobs,” Lowe said.
Lowe was accepted as a member of the first cohort of the Coca-Cola scholars program, which was made possible by a $1.25 million donation from The Coca-Cola Foundation.
“Having these groups of people going through these experiences together as a college student has really helped me feel more confident. We help each other out, and it feels like a family,” Lowe said.
In addition to the Coca-Cola scholars program, Lowe now serves as a Thrive leader, and this fall, she will become a resident assistant – a trained peer leader role within university housing – that will allow her to live on campus for the first time.
When Lowe moved to America from Zimbabwe, she found her entire life turned upside down. In her new home of Lawrenceville, she began to plan and hope. “In Africa, I didn’t see the chance to really go to college,” Lowe said. “I wanted to take the full opportunity presented to me here in America and have that traditional college experience.”
“Getting the chance to help other first-year students and experience living on campus is really exciting,” Lowe said. “Change is a word that I appreciate. It’s something I’m not scared of anymore because being from Africa and moving to America probably was the biggest change in my life.”
As Lowe has adjusted to college life over the past year, she said that the support of the each of the scholars programs and her family have given her the confidence to share her own experiences and continue to build a successful collegiate journey of her own.
– Andrea Judy
Photos by Jason Getz
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.