Candice M. Pedesclaux, JLNO Scholar, pictured with Shannon Zink and President Kristen Koppel. Photo by: Jessica Bachmann
The Junior League sponsored a new program this year—the JLNO scholarship. Started by a gift from Maria and David Huete with the intention that other donor match the contribution, the funds were earmarked for women in an accredited, degree-seeking program that would transition from a job to a career. The scholarships will be distributed directly to the educational institution’s Office of Financial Aid, and provide that the funds can be used for tuition, fees or other costs paid through the bursar’s office.
With scholarship awards up to $15,000, the 8-member committee, chaired by Elizabeth Janke and Jennifer Jeansonne, focused on a specific audience—nontraditional female students in the New Orleans area. Elizabeth noted that they wanted to “gather as much information as we could so future funds could be raised based on … the types of degree-seeking applicants we received.” So the committee decided to leave qualifying details very broad, in order to gauge future areas of interest.
The application was posted on JLNO.org, and shared through social media and email blasts with League members and partners. The committee also created posters promoting the opportunity, and placed them in community centers, public libraries and churches. An online application streamlined the process. The committee received a total of 42 applications, and whittled it down to three winners-LaTisha Pooler, Jennifer Mills, and Candice Pedesclaux, who were featured at the Passing of the Gavel celebration on May 15, 2018.
Scholarship recipient Jennifer Mills is currently enrolled in Tulane’s School of Professional Advancement, pursuing her undergraduate degree in Health and Wellness. Jennifer is considering graduate school for Integrative Dermatology or Integrative Medicine, but notes that she will likely “pursue a CNC, Certified Nutritional Consultant or CCN, Certified Clinical Nutritionist. I can combine this with my holistic esthetics degree and continue with my business!”
Recipient LaTisha Pooler, a senior at Southern University in New Orleans, is finishing her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice. She is currently in the process of applying to local law schools, with the goal of a dual degree of a Masters in Social Work and a Juris Doctor. LaTisha noted that the challenges of divorce, being a single mom, and being laid off from her job would have been enough to make her give up on her goals, but “being a recipient of this scholarship would allow me to complete my goals, in addition to encouraging someone else not to give up.”