"When I was a newly arrived Jamaican immigrant, I had many obstacles to overcome, including a language barrier," says Staceyann Sinclair '01, vice president of the JWU Alumni Council. Although no one in her family had a college degree and financing a university education seemed like an insurmountable challenge, Sinclair says, "I somehow always knew that I'd find a way to make it happen."
Have you ever been told that you couldn't do something? In 1914, when Misses Johnson and Wales started a business school with two students and a typewriter, they were told they couldn't. But with JWU's centennial approaching in 2014, it's clear that they could. Today many JWU students and alumni embody this same spirit of the school's determined founders — embracing challenges and overcoming obstacles to achieve their goals.
It was that self-determination that helped Sinclair secure the scholarship support necessary to attend the North Miami Campus. But even that wasn't enough. She still needed to work part time to make ends meet. Despite her grueling schedule, Sinclair found the time to be active on campus, knowing it would sharpen her professional skills.
"I was definitely involved, first as a member and then president of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and Delta Epsilon Chi (DECA). I was also a peer counselor and an admissions road runner, and graduated with a 3.8 GPA," she says. "Having to juggle so many tasks, network, speak publicly and lead teams were tremendous opportunities that led to my career success."
As admissions director for Rasmussen College, Sinclair is more cognizant than ever of the importance of scholarship aid. "Without aid and scholarships, I never would have been able to get through JWU. That's a huge reason why I give to the JWU Fund and, as I do better in life, I'll give more."
In September, Sinclair will become still more involved with JWU when she succeeds Clay Snyder '93 as Alumni Council president.