I began the POPS Program as a sophomore at Jones High School in 2010 and ended as a junior in 2012. This program intrigued me because I saw how much positivity, opportunity, and sense of community it instilled in the students around campus. It taught me how important it was to give back to your community as well as prospering in all areas of academics. I learned all of these values through the community service opportunities that POPS offered as well as the internship that I participated in for two consecutive summers. If it were not for the POPS Program, I would not be the student and person that I am today – a student at the University of Central Florida. I will be forever grateful for the POPS Program.
My name is Diamond Grier, I am a POPs Alumni, and a Stranahan alumnus, class of 2014. I now attend Bethune-Cookman University (BCU), majoring in Sociology, with a minor in Social Work. I am currently a second semester freshman, with a 3.64 GPA. I joined POPS when I was in the 11th grade. This program has helped me in many ways by providing valuable information during workshops, college tours and summer internships. Everything about the program led me in the right direction. The workshops prepared me for job interviews and how to keep the job. The college tours gave me choices and the internships helped to strengthen my choice. Taking tours to different colleges also helped me decide what school to attend. The summer internships were my favorite, not because of the money, but because of the experience. POPS found me an internship closely matched to my field of interest. During my time with POPS, I also learned how to use my time wisely. Time management was the name of that workshop. We use our phones for Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and twitter; I learned to use it to manage my time. I have been using these skills to plan my days in advance. I set my own class schedule, and in that way I have time for extra activities, homework and time to study. I feel blessed to have been a part of such a wonderful organization. POPS taught me about family, and being a POPS graduate means success for me. “I will see you at the top because it’s too crowded at the bottom”.
I was awarded admissions into the Southern Scholarship Foundation for the fall 2016 semester. I am settled into my scholarship housing and have started the fall semester. Last year, I received Honor Roll and Dean’s List awards for my academic achievements. I would like to sincerely thank you again for helping me along this process; without you it would not have been possible. Thank you for your time and efforts!
At my age teens get into a lot of trouble with gangs, violence, various illegal activities and drugs. Thanks to POPS, I have not fallen victim to that particular life style. The program has influenced me to stay in school, get an education and strive to be someone in life. They have supported me in my endeavors and motivated me to stay on the right track. Without the POPS program many of us would be in one of two places, in DJJ or in the grave. Being in this program has truly been a blessing to me. The POPS Program has allowed me the opportunity to be exposed to other experiences outside of my community. I made a commitment to myself that I plan on taking full advantage of this program and telling everyone I know how they should sign up for POPS and do the same.
POPS has definitely helped me control my temper, manage my time, and helped me realize that my future is now. I have learned to be a little friendlier by talking to people in the program. Every student should have a program like this to belong to.
Professional Opportunities Program for Students has played a major role in my life. For four years, I was given opportunities to gain professional work experience and network with key people in the workforce. POPS mentoring helped me to hone my skills to help me thrive every day. This program allowed me to have the experience of a lifetime and helped me peg my own personal motto-I am Black, I am Educated, I do Matter
POPS helped me see that life has something better in store for me!
POPS changed my life by making me a better person. It made me look at things differently, also it’s helped me come out of my shell. I’m not as shy as I was. Even though I’ve made a few changes in my life; I feel like a new person. POPS helped me adventure to many places and meet new people. I’ve learn things I haven’t learned before. I have a new set of friends and adults who have helped me out when I’ve needed it.
POPS has benefited my life because the program has taught me skills that will help me in my future. It has also shown me skills I need to improve on. POPS has changed my life by making me a better person than I was before. POPS has helped me understand things in life and how the real world works. POPS has taught me how to be successful.
POPS was a life changer for me. It instilled in me core values of success and professionalism and enabled me to explore my career options through the internship. Now that I have gained that experience, college and the beginning of my career journey are off to a wonderful start.
POPS opened up my options for different colleges and careers!
We look forward to meeting our POPS interns every year. They are always full of smiles, energy and helping hands! They also serve as mentors for youth volunteers, always ready to give 100%!
St. Margaret Mary is happy to be able to support the great work that POPS is doing in our community. We believe it is important to provide opportunities like the college tours for those that would otherwise not have the chance to visit a college campus.
Working with POPS students fits perfectly with our efforts (at Bank of America) to reach out and serve the community.