Title: 2023 Kristen D. Hofheimer Scholarship - Finalist - Betsy Robinson
Description: My name is Betsy Robinson and I am currently pursuing a Master of Educational Leadership in Higher Education Administration. I currently serve as the Assistant Director of a pre-college “bridge” program for high school students, developed in partnership with our city, public school system, and local University. The program continues to provide support to those students from the program who graduate from high school and attend the University. In my role, I develop and implement programming that helps students navigate the college experience and connects them with the resources available to them in school and their greater community. The support I provide can be pivotal to a student’s success, therefore, it is imperative that I be fully equipped to serve the students I engage with. Personally, it is important to me to be able to encourage students that being successful in their pursuit of higher education is not an impossibility. I feel that, at this point in my life, all that I do and all of my actions must be purposeful. One of the most important things to me is being able to give back. Giving back truly gives me a sense of purpose. I also realize the importance of sharing life lessons with others in hopes that they will be able to avoid some of the struggles that I have experienced. In this present society, our youth and young adults are exposed to so many negative influences. They need positive role models and safe places where healthy relationships can be fostered. It is this conviction that has driven me to establish The Brilliance Debutante Cotillion, Inc., a non-profit youth development organization for teen girls. The program engages the girls in workshops on etiquette, self-esteem, and college readiness, as well as provides them with volunteer service opportunities and access to college scholarship funding. It also gives them the essential tools needed to become well-rounded, productive members of their community, as well as positive role models for their peers. This program truly gives me opportunities to help straighten the crowns of teen girls in my community! With college readiness being one of the core tenants of the Brilliance Debutante Cotillion program, it has always been important to provide participants with the proper tips and tools needed to get and keep them on the path to becoming successful college students. It has also been an opportunity to hear from students within the community about what is most important to them when it comes to being prepared for college. Working with youth through this organization has also allowed me to collaborate with other community leaders to provide positive experiences and social interactions for our youth. Being able to provide youth with this valuable information lets me know I am making a difference. Receiving my master’s degree will truly change my life for the better. As my life becomes better, I can help to make someone else’s life better, and in turn, they will go on to do the same. It is my desire to serve all those that I encounter with a spirit of excellence. Obtaining my master’s degree is just part of that pursuit of excellence. As I continue my journey, my hope is that my knowledge and experience, my passion for youth development, and my education, will all come together in a way that makes me a better community leader and a better higher education professional.