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 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).Michelle Kelly, Parent,
Here are previous testimonies submitted by both parents and students. Be sure to read testimonies from the 2018 tour by clicking here.
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.Mr. John Anderson, Designer