Each academic year, Smith Scholars are selected by members of the JAG Board of Directors who invest considerable time in reviewing applications. Selecting recipients for a $1,000 scholarship is a challenging assignment since the vast majority of the applicants need, want and can use the scholarship to pursue a collegiate education and/or their career goals. In Kansas, Destiny Shelton was one of the recipients of the Smith Scholarship.
The governor recognized Stafford High School senior Destiny Shelton who changed the course of her life, and is moving on to the next phase. Destiny successfully completed the Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) program, and is one of the 21 students across the country to receive a Smith Scholarship. Destiny faced the death of her father, poverty and neglect growing up. She says she didn't let those circumstances stand in her way.
"You can't just let your problems hold you back, and you can't think of all that," said Destiny. "You just have to keep moving forward. I have a lot of people pushing me and telling me to keep going and just look forward to the future."
Destiny’s JAG teacher explained that Destiny started the year in another class that met the same time as the JAG class. She decided to give up her baking class so that she could learn some job and education specific skills. Interestingly, she joined just a week or so before elections were held for the Career Association officers. She was voted President unanimously by her peers. This speaks to the tremendous leadership qualities demonstrated in the classroom. Destiny could be described as: motivated, uncompromising, loyal, determined and highly intelligent. These are the qualities that her peers and the staff of Stafford High School see in her on a daily basis.
When asked what it was like to be awarded the Smith Scholarship Destiny shared these thoughts. “To receive the Kenneth M. Smith Scholarship and be named a Smith Scholar is amazing, but to be acknowledged by the governor himself, was just spectacular.” “It's such a huge honor to be given and a great privilege for me to get recognition for it and represent my school.” “I'm so appreciative of everyone who helped me along the way and stood by my side.”
Destiny has been accepted to Kansas University where she plans to pursue a degree in psychology.