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ETS Alum - Where Are They Now

If you participated in the Educational Talent Search (ETS) Program through Eastern Kentucky University, we want to hear from you.




Tara Bray 2012

TARA BRAY - Class of 2012, Madison Central High School

April 9, 2017 - I completed my bachelor's degree in Classics at the University of Kentucky.  During my undergrad years, I worked as a peer mentor in a living-learning program, a K-Crew Leader, and founded the Classics Club, serving as president for 2 years. I graduated in 2016 with departmental honors and summa cum laude. I was lucky enough to be accepted into the Teaching Foreign Language master's degree program at U.K. and began working on my master's in the summer of 2016. I began my graduate study with a study abroad trip in Italy, which was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I'm now almost finished with my student teaching and will be graduating in August. I am currently pursuing a Latin position in Louisville, KY and hope to move there with my partner this summer.

Do you have a special memory of ETS that you would like to share? I remember touring Midway University with several of my friends in ETS on a field trip. At the time I thought that there was no way I would attend that college, but in hind-sight the experience was a good teaching experience for what to look for in a University while touring as a potential student. Also, the cafeteria's chicken tenders were really good.

How was ETS of benefit to you?  My experiences in ETS allowed me to gain valuable information on the process of searching, applying, and being accepted into an institution of higher ed. This was really important, as my parents had not gone to college and couldn't provide that information for me. This program helped me to know that I wasn't at a disadvantage being a first-generation college student and helped me bridge that knowledge gap. 

What advice can you give to current ETS Scholars?  Take advantage of all the resources available to you, as they'll be helpful to you in ways you might not yet realize. Enjoy the lifelong process of education; it's one of the most valuable things you'll ever work for.

I live in Menifee County, Kentucky.

WILLIAM AARON HULL - Class of 2013, Madison Central High School

April 9, 2017 - Will be graduating from Morehead State University in May 2017, and is receiving an award for the Most Outstanding Student in Chemistry. Aaron was recently accepted into the Pharmaceutical Sciences Program at the University of Kentucky. This program is ranked 3rd in the nation.

How was ETS of benefit to you? "It helped give me the confidence to defy the stigmas I had taken to heart and to be who I wanted to be instead of what everyone else wanted for me".

What advice can you give to current ETS Scholars? "Do no let anything stand between you and your dreams. You will only ever be happy when you put your dreams first; may that be a great job, a great family, or an accumulation of great experiences. The people who truly love you will understand that there are going to be times when you will have to put yourself first and there is nothing wrong with doing that. If you give up on your dreams now because you feel like they are either unachievable or you think people will leave your because of it, ignore those voices. Your happiness depends on  it. I was raised in a single parent household, having  to decide which days I would eat and which I would go without. I had planned on not going to college and taking care of my mom and my sister with a minimum wage job. Now I am looking at a six figure salary in the next decade and I know without a shadow of doubt that I will be able to help my mom so much more than I ever thought I could have".

Lives in Richmond, Kentucky.

JESSLYN COX - Class of 2016, Jackson County High School   

April 9, 2017 - I will be finishing my freshman year at Union College with a steady 3.5 grade point average. I work part-time and commute to school so it's been a great accomplishment for me to balance everything correctly. I'm part of the Union College Nursing Club and we have done some great things this year. Union has allowed me to work closely with the community of Barbourville through service learning programs. I could not be more thankful for the opportunities Union has offered me.

How was ETS of benefit to you?  "ETS benefited me by giving me a resource that I could rely on to help me with all of the college questions. ETS also gave me the opportunity to have someone as a role model and guide. The summer trips helped me expand and reach out to people that I wouldn't have met otherwise. I really enjoyed and benefited from this program and I hope that it keeps growing". 

What advice can you give to current ETS Scholars?  "Never give up on your goals. It doesn't matter if that goal is going to college, getting a good job, or just simply graduating high school. Every goal is worth it. Please don't stress and worry about the money aspect or grades because there are ways to get help, trust me. I've learned that from experience. There will always be someone there to help you. Also, don't worry so much, have some fun. Life will get pretty miserable if you don't get out and enjoy it".

I live in McKee, please contact me anytime, I'm on Facebook "Jesslyn Cox"

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