Google “go getter,” and you might find a picture of Makayla Key. In high school at Dudley, she was on the golf team, managed the women’s basketball team, founded of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, earned her Girl Scout Gold Award and found time to ace all her classes to graduate as valedictorian. The cherry on top of that sundae, being awarded the Morehead-Cain Scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“I applied to that on a whim,” she recalls. “I went through the process, and I kept getting more and more notifications like you’re a semifinalist; you’re a finalist. Then, we want you to come to Chapel Hill and I was like, this is getting serious.”

Key is being modest. She worked the scholarship application process like a job, laying out a detailed plan from college exploration to acceptance. It got the attention of her classmates, who would come to her for help.

She encouraged them to apply for every scholarship opportunity they could find and take advantage of free classes and workshops to help with college applications, FAFSA, financial aid and scholarships. Key found all of that with shift_ed. “Knowing that I have people in the organization who support me and want to help me find my dreams meant a lot,” she says.

That education began to shape her college and career path. Majoring in sociology with minors in education and women and gender studies, she accepted a summer internship at 12+ in Philadelphia. “I counseled and mentored students over the summer who had just graduated, and they needed help applying to community college or preparing to go to a four-year school.” That work has her thinking about a career as a school counselor.

 With at least a couple more years of school ahead of her, Key is focused on her future and enjoying the now. “I love learning. I love seeing how other people think about things, and college is the perfect place to do that because there are so many people who think differently than you and come from different backgrounds.”

shift_ed boldly accelerates student potential