Paying it Forward - 2011 Profiles

LaKeila J.


LaKeila earned her Master of Business Administration in Human Resource Management and loved the flexibility of her program. LaKeila is a people person. After earning her graduate degree, LaKeila became an HR business partner for one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. “I finally get to be a part of the ‘big picture’ as HR support for three marketing divisions in developing business strategies, performance management and conflict resolution,” LaKeila says. She believes in the Paying it Forward® Scholarship program because higher education helped her meet her career goals. “I know obtaining my MBA helped propel me to the success I am able to experience today.”

LaKeila is paying it forward to her friend Jina. They met as co-workers and became friends as they bonded over family life and the many things they have in common. After suggesting that Jina pursue a career in HR, LaKeila witnessed Jina put her dreams into action by earning her associate degree. “Jina is looking to finish her degree and would be an awesome candidate for the Paying it Forward Scholarship.”

Jina W.

Recipient – Durham, NC

Twenty years ago, Jina started her higher education journey. She dropped out of college when she realized computer science wasn’t the major for her. One year off turned into a 20-year hiatus until Jina earned her associate degree in 2010 from University of Phoenix. She planned to continue with her bachelor’s degree, but when her mother fell ill, Jina became her mother’s caregiver. “In managing a number of things to make my mother’s transition as comfortable as possible, I put pursuing my degree on the back burner. My son will be entering middle school soon and thrives on learning. It is my duty to make sure I teach him how important an education is by leading by example,” shares Jina.

Jina is currently employed as a corporate recruiter and initially wanted to study human resource management. However, in becoming caregiver for her mother while working within the long-term care industry, Jina felt a degree in Health Administration was the better choice. She is a self-proclaimed people person and loves the challenges that brings. “In the recruiting role, I have the perfect mix of rules and regulations, documentation and requirements that must be followed, in addition to the human factor component that allows me to meet individuals from all walks of life, from different ethnicities and from all parts of the country. I learn something from someone and share something with someone every day, and I thrive on this type of exchange,” she says. Above all, Jina wants to complement her years of experience with a degree.

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