Wells College student La'Ronica Craven ’21, a senior from Auburn, N.Y., was recently featured in the Citizen newspaper as one of several young women of color from the area who received support from the Beverly L. Smith Empowerment Initiative. In addition to financial support, she received mentoring and other resources from the initiative’s director, Melody Smith Johnson.
Wells was, in fact, the only college she visited as a prospective student. “When I visited I knew that I belonged here — it’s a beautiful, welcoming and supportive environment, with the small classes allowing for strong relationships with peers and professors to be formed! The small classes are what drove the point home for me.”
The Smith Empowerment Initiative was just one of 15 (!) undergraduate scholarships that the hard-working La’Ronica applied to and received. “I was determined to further my education and finances tend to be a significant barrier for myself to do so, so I had to search and apply for any financial opportunity that applied to me — and maybe even some that didn’t!” she said.
As a Wells student, La’Ronica has maintained a strong GPA while working three jobs on top of her full-time studies. After graduating this spring, La’Ronica hopes to pursue a master’s degree in school psychology.
“Pursue your dreams no matter what the challenge. Don’t do yourself the disservice of not pursuing it just because you think you can’t," she said. "Reach out and find mentors like Miss Melody.”