Four years ago, a hometown girl from Cincinnati with big dreams received the L. Ross Love Memorial Scholarship, administered by United Way of Greater Cincinnati. Winners are paired with mentors from the Herbert R. Brown Society (HRB), United Way’s African-American leadership group. The annual L. Ross Love Memorial Scholarship Fund awards highly motivated African-American high school seniors with college scholarships to explore career paths in business, marketing and communication. Jameeda Rucker, a senior at Temple University, has been a living example of the drive and motivation that L. Ross Love Scholarship winners possess.
Rucker attributes a portion of her success to her HRB Society mentor, Tonya Matthews, who, she says, influenced and pushed her to be more explorative in her studies, open-minded in her thinking and a better citizen of society. “Tonya Matthews was definitely an example of a woman whose lifestyle I wanted to imitate…I could tell that she was a free spirit with a love for life and experiencing things. I appreciate the unique experience I was able to have with her,” says Rucker.
Rucker reminisced about one of the first moments she had with her mentor, who shared a story about a friend who stepped out of her comfort zone to explore dance as a minor in college. “Tonya taught me to not just go with the flow of school, work, and life; instead, she taught me to join other non-school or career-related things to add color to my life,” says Rucker.
Seizing the opportunity
Taking this advice to seize opportunity, Rucker moved nine hours away to attend Temple University in Philadelphia and start her colorful adventure. The next four years would prove to be a period of expanded horizons in ways she had never thought possible. This included a semester-long Spanish immersion program, supplemented by studying abroad in Costa Rica for three weeks, and declaring her major in strategic communications with a public relations concentration.
She also engaged herself in experiential learning through internships, co-ops and campus leadership. Prior to her freshman year at Temple, Rucker interned at WCPO – Channel 9 News. While at Temple, she had four internships that developed her skills in writing, public relations, website creation, and social media. She also served as treasurer and vice president of Temple’s Public Relations Student Society of America.
As Rucker approaches a May graduation, her focus is shifting to the professional world of public relations. She plans to leverage her diverse portfolio of skills to secure a PR job in the entertainment and music industry; UWGC and its HRB Society could not be more proud of this 2012 L. Ross Love Scholarship recipient, and wish her luck as she moves to Brooklyn in July to begin her professional career in the Big Apple.