'By being a part of Ms. Gaddis' college tours, my family & I were able to prepare myself for applying to colleges, knowing what to look for in a college or university, as well as looking for majors and seeing what internship & career opportunities can come from that major. My scope for higher education grew exponentially and my appreciation & pride for Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU's) grew even more. After participating in two HBCU tours with Ms. Gaddis, I would recommend this tour to any parent who has a child wanting to go to college, or even a parent who's child is on the fence about attending college. The quality, care, and dedication put into each university visit definitely exceeded my expectations and played a strong part in my attendance at Winston-Salem State University."
BYDEA HARRIS, PARENT
"The Gaddis Foundation has been a blessing to my family in more ways than they can imagine. My son Sayvon Foster had the pleasure of attending two College Tours with Gaddis4kids and he enjoyed both tours. As we began to research colleges closer to home, we weren't pleased.
We began to revisit his conversation when he returned home from the college tour 2-3 years prior that included colleges & universities in the Carolinas. He loved Winston Salem State University (WSSU). That day in April of 2011, I put a trip together with my family to visit WSSU. We visited WSSU in July 2011 and loved it. Because of the information sessions offered to the students before their tour with Gaddis4kids, and along with my knowledge, we knew what questions to ask. Sayvon walked on campus with his ACT scores, high school transcripts and letters of recommendation. His application fee was waived and he was offered a scholarship immediately, upon completion of High School. What a blessing we all thought. Sayvon finished High School May 2012 in the top 18% of his class and received his $5000 partial scholarship. Had he not gone on the tour, we probably wouldn't have looked at Winston Salem State University.
Sayvon is a Campus Ambassador, he's on several committees, he gives tours, he's a Resident Advisor and he's part of a young men's empowerment group. He's particpated in all of these activities along with making the Dean's List Spring Semester 2013. Fast forward: We returned two weeks ago from WSSU's homecoming weekend. We took another High School student and her family with us. They enjoyed all of the events as well as the 20 minute drive to North Carolina A & T in Greensboro. The young lady is now looking at attending A&T. I have friends that's witnessed my son's progress and look forward to Gaddis4Kids to do another tour soon, hoping for their students to have the same positive experience. "
MICHELLE KELLEY-DERAMUS, PARENT
" A mother’s love inspires and encourages their children. Because I love my children, I pray and want the best for them. My responsibility as a parent is to ensure that I enhance their lives by: the way I treat them and the people I let influence them. This is a picture of Jessica Taylor Grimes my firstborn daughter. She means a lot to me. Being the first born, allows for many benefits and experiences. The learning process is ENDLESS.
With that being said, I feel that The Gaddis Foundation is an EXCELLENT influence in the lives of youth. Their commitment and passion to youth through mentoring and motivating them to make good life choices and being successful is a BLESSING. Their scholarship and tours are life changing. Jessica attended their college tour in June of 2010. The benefit of this experience was that she was given useful information about the colleges and what they had to offer their students.
The information included: completing the FASFA, learning about financial aid, areas of study, to real life discussions with college students and life after college (job search, financial planning, budgeting, etc). The program definitely met and exceeded my expectations. I feel like their concern for Jessica’s success was an extension of what I prayed for. Jessica gained so much knowledge about and importance of a college education through their college tour. It was an overall life changing experience for her.
The Gaddis Foundation demonstrates compassion, care and commitment to youth. Even after the tour, they followed up with support and advice to Jessica. I would strongly recommend this program because it prepares youth for their future. I know the Gaddis family personally. My parents were very close friends with Willie and Vivian Gaddis through our church. My siblings and I grew up with their children. Their faith and love for God is evident from the moment you meet them. They are pillars of strength and their perseverance and love for our youth shines through to their foundation.
Jessica attends Capital University in Bexley, OH. She is now a Junior, majoring in Business Management. She plans to one day, own and operate events planning service for corporate fundraising, parties and one stop shop wedding planning services that will include: bridal boutique, catering, photography, video, flowers, honeymoon travel, etc) Say Yes to The Gaddis Foundation.”
"I'm so glad I was able to participate in the Gaddis Foundation's Jump Start 4 Kids College Program. I was 16 years old when I learned about the program from my high school. At the time I was a junior at Northland High School and the only Black college that came to visit us was Clark Atlanta University. Since I grew up in Atlanta I had a very strong sense, love, and appreciation for HBCUs. So much that I knew from an early age that that is what I wanted to go. That year I had the option of choosing whether I wanted to go on the college tour or apply to participate in a local cotillion. I am so glad I made the right investment!
Our tour went to Tennessee State, Norfolk State, Fisk, Cark Atlanta, Spelman, Morehouse, Bennett, North Carolina A&T, Hampton, Norfolk State, and Howard. I was able to get a greater sense of my college choices by seeing the campus, learning about each school's financial aid opportunities, and the rigor of their academics. We also got a feel for the dorm life, social activities, and most importantly the food!! The tour allowed me to meet students from all across the city and I was able to make great friends!
After the tour I had decided on my top choice colleges and when I was senior, I applied to Howard, Hampton, Spelman, and Ohio State. I had received full tuition scholarships to Howard, Hampton, and Ohio State and when I received my acceptance letter from Howard in December, I immediately sent my admissions acceptance form. Through the help of Ms. Gaddis and the mentors she brought in, I was better informed on how to apply for scholarships and where to find the resources for it. My senior year I received the Gates Millennium Scholarship, Christopher Columbus Education Foundation Scholarship, Black in Government, Columbus Chapter Scholarship, and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Alpha Rho Lambda Chapter Freedom Scholarship.
Since high school, I attended Howard University where I majored in Sociology and minored in Afro-American Studies. During my undergraduate career I had the opportunity to work for the U.S. Department of Education, Columbus State Community College, American Federation of Teachers, Center City Public Charter Schools, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, and Howard University Alternative Spring Break Program in collaboration with First Lady Dr. Paula Whetsel-Ribeau. I graduated May 2013 from Howard with my Bachelor of Arts and I am currently a first year graduate student in Cultural and Educational Policy at Loyola University Chicago.
Anyone who is considering going to college, especially an HBCU should most definitely consider attending a tour with Jump Start 4 Kids. The wealth of information through our information sessions, our experiences on the tour, and the amount of support you receive outside the program are tremendously valuable. I am especially grateful for this program because it gives exposure to HBCUs that may be otherwise unnoticed in Central Ohio schools. I believe that it is one of the greatest investments I have ever made, and I am so grateful that Ms. Gaddis and her team provided us with such a great experience."