The financial support scholarships provide is life changing for many students. When trying to balance class time, coursework, student involvement and professional development opportunities, scholarship assistance can be the key to keeping students on track through easing the stress caused by tuition. Hardworking students like Toni Anderson from Long Beach, Miss., know just how critical scholarship support is to their academic careers.
In addition to being a single mother of five children, including two sets of twins, Toni is able to pursue her life-long goal of becoming an educator and child advocate because of the Dr. James and Barbara Byrd Guernsey Elementary Education Endowment. With a major in elementary education and a minor in legal studies, Toni is working toward graduating in May 2019.
“With this scholarship, I was able to spend more time studying instead of working off campus and my GPA steadily increased,” Toni said. “I am eternally grateful for this opportunity to chase my dream without holding back.”
Toni’s passion to educate and encourage others led her to pursue a college education and after graduation she plans to pass on the gift of education she has received. Through the Guernsey’s generosity, she is well on her way to achieving her goals.
After dedicating over 40 years to education as a teacher, alumna Barbara Guernsey Smith’s desire to help students in need led her to leave a legacy at Southern Miss. Her planned gift of $1 million was added to the Dr. James and Barbara Byrd Guernsey Elementary Education Endowment which supports students majoring in elementary education.
“I am thankful and extremely honored to have been the recipient of this scholarship. Knowing that Mrs. Smith was a teacher inspires me to keep working hard so I may one day have the same impact on bettering the lives of others.”
Toni is one of 10 students who benefitted from the Dr. James and Barbara Byrd Guernsey Elementary Education Endowment in the 2016-2017 academic year alone, demonstrating the outstanding impact on Southern Miss students one person’s generosity can have.