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UMES graduate to speak in Washington

  • Friday, December 16, 2011

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD-(Dec. 15, 2011)A December graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore will be among eight panelists in the 2011 College Round Table in Washington on Tuesday, Dec. 20-one of the D.C. Achievers Scholarship Program's success stories funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Kierrah Norman, 21, from (Northeast) Washington, D.C., is one of the first two students graduating who received the scholarship funded by a $117 million grant from the Gates Foundation in 2007.

    Norman will have a lot on her mind as she packs up her room, dons her graduation gown and turns her tassel.  She is headed back home to Washington to speak not only at the College Success Foundation-D.C. event, but also to her high school, Friendship Collegiate Academy, to tell other students with her background how to achieve success.

    Norman will "motivate students to get on track," sharing how she started looking into higher education, finding out about financial aid and her college experiences.

    Her advice to high school students thinking about college:  "Stay focused, work hard-play later!"  Norman recommends doing research on scholarships.  "They're out there…there's no reason anyone should be taking out loans," she said.

    The College Success Foundation-D.C. helps underserved, low-income students graduate from high school and college by providing a support system and financial means through scholarships to succeed.

    Norman's scholarship covered 50 percent of her tuition.  It was up to her, with the help of D.C. Achievers and the university, to finance the rest. 

    "Always keep a positive mindset and reach out to all of the resources your university offers," advice she will relay next week.  Norman said she looked to counseling services for help with time management, financial aid for a work/study program and residence life to receive room and board as a residence assistant. 

    Norman, who graduated from UMES with a bachelor's in rehabilitation services, plans to attend Bowie State for a master's degree in mental health counseling.



    Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580,  


    Bill Robinson, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355,