Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jackie Joyner-Kersee gave the keynote speech at the Second Annual St. Louis Public School District Scholar Athlete Luncheon.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, one of the most decorated female athletes of all time, and St. Louis Rams General Manager Les Snead shared words of inspiration and encouragement with 412 St. Louis Public School District student athletes at the district’s second annual Scholar Athlete Luncheon held at the Missouri Athletic Club on May 1. 

Joining Joyner-Kersee and Snead in saluting the student athletes were almost 50 St. Louis area sports personalities and successful business leaders who served as “table role models” for the scholar athletes. The St. Louis Rams served as sponsor for the event.

SLPS student athletes received scholar athlete designation by meeting the following criteria:  Each student had to earn a 3.25 grade point average or higher during the first semester of the 2012-13 school year; the student athlete had to successfully complete the athletic season; the student athlete had to promote the values of sportsmanship, citizenship, character and academic excellence.

Among the “table role models” on hand to network with the scholar athletes and share words of wisdom were former Olympic sprinter Ivory Crockett, St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnists Bryan Burwell and Joe Strauss, St. Louis American Hall of Fame photojournalist Wiley Price and sports writer Earl Austin Jr., KMOX radio sportscaster Ron Jacober, Post-Dispatch football writer Jim Thomas and veteran NFL writer Howard Balzer. 

St. Louis Rams “table role models” included Artis Twyman, Ran Carthon, Molly Higgins, George Foster, Kara Henderson Snead, Brandon Williams, Nicole Woodie and cheerleaders Crystal and Aundrea,

Several former St. Louis Public School District athletes were on hand to serve as “table role models” as well.  Taking time out to connect with the current student athletes were: St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson (Metro), Johnny Furr Jr. (Sumner), Schron Jackson (Sumner), Tawana Hughes-Jackson (Vashon), Demetrious Johnson (McKinley), Michael Jones (Beaumont), Terry “Chip” Jones (Beaumont), Glenn Marshall (Soldan), Derrick C. Mitchell (Vashon), Bennie Moore (Sumner), Dr. Marvin Neals (Sumner), Kevin Potter (Soldan), Reuben Shelton (Northwest), Sharron Washington (Hadley Tech) and Charonn Woods (Metro).

 At the conclusion of the event, each scholar athlete received a special lapel pin from their “table role model” to commemorate the special occasion. 


New free High School to College Center 

Making the transition from high school to college can be daunting, particularly if you are the first in your family to pursue a degree or have significant financial hurdles to overcome to make continuing your education possible. That’s why St. Louis Graduates is opening this summer the St. Louis Graduates High School to College Center where students can get answers and help with the process.

St. Louis area students can visit the free St. Louis Graduates High School to College Center if they are recent high school graduates and:

  •  Need assistance figuring out financial aid, where to live and how to get to college,
  • Are having trouble accessing the college online enrollment and course registration system, or
  • Need help completing necessary paperwork.

At the center, students will be able to meet with a team of experienced professionals, including a mix of high school guidance counselors, nonprofit college access professionals, higher education transition staff and financial aid advisors.

Participating counselors include representatives of College Summit, Missouri College Advising Corps, St. Louis Community College, The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, and Wyman Center as well as individual counselors from several area high schools, nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions.

“We want to make sure that all students who are enrolled in college for the fall have the information, encouragement and guidance they need to make it to campus,” said Jane Donahue, vice president of the Deaconess Foundation and co-chair of St. Louis Graduates. 

“We launched the center because we believe there are potentially thousands of students who don’t make it to campus, despite their best intentions.”

The St. Louis Graduates High School to College Center will tailor its counseling to students who recently graduated from high school, have plans in place to continue their education, and have questions over the summer and aren’t quite sure where to turn. The center is designed to work primarily with low-income and/or first-generation college-going students. All services are offered free of charge.

“Having an acceptance letter or financial aid award letter can give the mistaken impression that all a student needs to do is show up on campus in the fall,” notes Faith Sandler, executive director of The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis and co-chair of St. Louis Graduates.

“The St. Louis Graduates High School to College Center will help students through the steps they need to take to ensure their financial aid is in place, they are enrolled in classes, and they are ready to go in August.”

The St. Louis Graduates High School to College Center will be open June 1 through August 18 in a “pop up” retail storefront in the Delmar Loop at 618 N. Skinker Blvd. in space donated by Washington University. The Center will be open seven days a week from noon to 5 p.m. Students will be encouraged to come into the Center, but assistance will also be available via phone and e-mail.

At the St. Louis Graduates High School to College Center, experienced counselors will meet one-on-one with students to review a checklist of common challenges, help students develop an action plan to address them, and refer students to resources that meet their needs.

Counselors at the St. Louis Graduates High School to College Center will use a system developed by College Bound, a St. Louis-based college access/success program that works intensely with students from the end of their freshman year in high school through college graduation. College Bound developed an online tool for ensuring common challenges are addressed each step of the way, including the critical transition point between high school and college. Use of the system will ensure all students receive the complete scope of help they need, including assistance with admissions, financial aid, housing, and transportation.

For more information, call 314-932-6956 or e-mail: info@stlouisgraduates.org.

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.