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Keyona (Osborne) Jones

Scholarship Year: 2008
School: Elon University
Current Occupation: Strategic Planning & Evaluation Analyst at Mecklenburg County

As a scholarship recipient of the Hope Chest Scholarship Foundation, I not only received money to lessen the cost burden of a college degree, but I also received mentorship and networking skills that have contributed to getting me where I am in my career today. The Hope Chest Scholarship Foundation is not only focused on helping send students to college, but also intent on ensuring their success. The ability to communicate with people of diverse backgrounds and education levels is one characteristic of a successful person that the Hope Chest Scholarship Foundation has instilled in me. Networking events during which I was able to listen to and speak with professionals who offered advice for my journey towards success were very helpful.

Some of these networking opportunities came from my involvement with the Leadership, Training, and Development (LTD) program. The early Saturday mornings I spent learning about personal branding, resume building and other career advancement strategies were certainly worthwhile. I used the interviewing strategies when applying for internships, graduate school, and jobs while at school and since graduating. I have also had the opportunity to utilize my “elevator speech” with executives within each of the companies I have worked. I have had the privilege to turn down job opportunities due to the abundance of employers impressed with my interviewing skills and achievements highlighted on my resume. The program was even more impactful for me because I knew some of the LTD Program speakers personally. Knowing the success the speakers have achieved and the positive role they play in the local community is extremely uplifting and encouraged me to imbibe all the experience-based advice they had to offer. It is my hope that I too can be successful in my career and in being a role model to those around me.