Today we have the opportunity to share our final #DoingItForLenoir recognition for the month of March. This social media campaign has been an amazing way for us to learn about the great individuals that make up Kinston and Lenoir County, while sharing their stories with our community at large. For our final #DoingItForLenoir spotlight, we talked with Ms. Jeanene McBride—Kinston High School graduate turned College Access Coordinator for Lenoir County Public Schools. She shares her college success story, and how she is currently empowering the next generation of college-bound LCPS students.
Which Lenoir County Public Schools high school did you attend, and what year did you graduate?
I grew up here in our great town of Kinston, attended Kinston High School, and graduated in 2004.
Where did you attend and graduate from college, in what year did you graduate, and what was your major(s)?
I attended Livingstone, a private HBCU (Historically Black College/University) located in Salisbury, North Carolina. While there, I obtained my Bachelors of Arts in English with a minor in Political Science, graduating in 2010. In 2016, I received my Masters in Business Administration from Concordia University.
What is your current job?
Currently, I work as the College Access Coordinator for the GEAR UP Program in Lenoir County Public Schools. I work with students and their families at eight school across the county, providing college preparation programs and assistance.
How do you serve the Lenoir County community?
In and outside of my job, I partner with numerous community organizations to provide college access information to the youth of Kinston. In addition to my college access work, I provide leadership and guidance to working professionals through the Kinston-Lenoir Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Program. I also serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the Lenoir-Greene Partnership for Children, and for the Kinston-Lenoir Chamber of Commerce.
I also have the honor of serving as the President of the Lenoir County Livingstone College Alumni Association, volunteer coordinator for the annual BBQ Festival on the Neuse, board member for BRIDGES, and as a volunteer with Community Feeding a Community.
Why do you believe going to college is important?
Attending and graduating from college is important because it provides you with the opportunity to enhance your knowledge, and gain experience that will assist in preparing you for a career. As your level of education increases, your career opportunities will also increase.
What did you enjoy most about college?
I attended a small college, and I REALLY enjoyed the family atmosphere. All of my professors knew me by name, and the small class sizes allowed for a personal connection with classmates. I knew that I would perform better academically in a smaller environment.
I encourage all students to assess their learning style and determine what type of campus would best suit their needs. Be sure to tour as many colleges as possible to determine which one is the best fit for you.
Why do you feel it’s important for individuals to invest in their hometown and local community?
Every member of the community has the power to invest. Often, people hear the word “invest” and automatically think about monetary investments. Financial support for community programs is always great, but people with limited resources can invest in the community by serving as a mentor to youth or by volunteering their time to support a cause that they believe in. It is imperative that we invest in the next generation, and assist them in becoming productive and confident members of society.
If you have the ability to make monetary contributions, find a worthy cause and sponsor their events. I believe it is also important for those who are capable to open up businesses in our community, as it will assist in job creation and continued economic development for our city.
What is some advice you would share for a young person who wants to go to college, but isn’t sure that they can afford it?
There are many opportunities for students to receive college credit in high school free of charge. Students can apply for acceptance into Lenoir County Early College High School, or take college courses through the College and Career Promise Program. I encourage students to reach out to their guidance counselor to discuss their options.
There are also many different types of financial assistance such as scholarships, grants, loans, and federal student aid available to qualifying students. Any student or parent who is in need of additional information regarding financing college should give me a call. I provide one on one and group financial aid workshops.
We’re extremely grateful to Ms. McBride for sharing her college and career success story with us. We appreciate her work to encourage more of our local students to attend and graduate from college, and thank her for ensuring that Lenoir County’s young people are aware of the resources to make college accessible and affordable. College is in reach, and Ms. McBride—you empower us to reach higher!
Interested in learning about our past #DoingItForLenoir spotlights? Check out our previous blogposts, or take a look at the Kinston Teens Facebook Page. #BetterMakeRoom