Meet the Richmond Promise Scholars, a growing movement of hundreds of students from Richmond and North Richmond who are currently attending over 100 colleges and universities. They are beneficiaries of the Richmond Promise college preparedness, scholarship and guidance program, which is part of a $35 million, 10-year investment by Chevron to help make college more affordable and attainable for local students. For some students, the Promise wasn’t just an opportunity to achieve their college dream, but also to help younger generations do the same. In this series, we feature interns from the Summer Associates program talking about their experience.
Sharon Jackson is a first-generation Richmond native who is a second-year at Cal State Los Angeles and graduated from De Anza High School in 2018. She is pursuing a career as a neonatal nurse practitioner. On her spare time, she likes to spend time with her family and friends.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your life goals?
A: I have always known that I wanted to pursue a career in neonatal nursing since high school. I have a passion for the neonatal nursing field for multiple reasons, but mainly because I have a really big family in which I am the youngest. I have been around and taken care of babies since a young age due to having many nieces and nephews. My motivation to keep me striving is my family. I will be the first person in my family to graduate from college and pursue a professional career.
How has the Richmond Promise played a role in your education?
A: Richmond Promise has played a major role in my career by giving me all the ingredients to get through and finish college. They have given me a mentor who is also in the medical field which has helped me by always knowing that I have someone to call when I have questions or problems related to nursing. The Richmond Promise scholarship has given me the ability to avoid taking out big loans, taking the stress off of me and my family.
What do you want to contribute to Richmond or the world?
A: I would like to contribute to Richmond by giving back as much as possible. Education is power so I would like to educate the youth on college, money, credit, and things that are not as available to learn in school. I would like to promote positive change and innovation in the community.
Can you tell us about your current college experience?
A: I recently finished my first year of college and I had a great experience. I made the dean’s list, which I am very proud of. The reason for me doing so well my first year is due to me having great time management and know-how to set valuable time away for schoolwork and studying. In regard to my social life, I joined the Black Student Union and a Kickboxing club. I used most of the school resources as much as I could like the student union or the health center. My college experience has been great overall.
Q: What are you looking forward to after receiving your Bachelor’s degree?
A: I hope to continue with my education by working towards a Masters degree. I am looking forward to starting my career as an official registered nurse working at Kaiser Hospital or Children’s Hospital with newborn babies.