Jackie Morrison tells her two daughters, Kiana and Londyn, that “education unlocks the world.” She wants to make sure they know that and they see how hard she has worked for her education. Morrison acknowledges that receiving two Connestee Falls Scholarships in a row has helped her a lot to meet her educational goals.
Morrison graduated from Brevard High School in 2005 when Kiana was less than a year old. She wasn’t eligible to graduate as a Transylvania County scholar because she stayed home with her daughter the first semester of her senior year and thus missed the required classes.
Morrison worked at Sonic as an assistant manager and then at Cato’s in a similar position. That convinced her that retail was not her career path.
At Kingsbridge House’s memory facility, she obtained experience with medicines and got a med tech certification as well as a certified nursing assistant certification.
At Cross Fit, Morrison met Glenda McCarson, associate vice president of Transylvania campus of Blue Ridge Community College. McCarson kept encouraging Morrison to go back to school and get a nursing degree. Her colleagues at Kingsbridge House also tried to persuade her to further her education, so in 2017, Morrison began working to fulfill her basic science and nursing requirements at Blue Ridge Community College.
At that time, Rob Rhodes, student services coordinator at the Transylvania campus of Blue Ridge Community College, suggested that she apply for the Connestee Falls scholarship. Morrison did and was awarded the scholarship for both 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. She intends to apply for the scholarship again and will graduate in May 2020 with an Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN.)
Morrison comes from a large blended family. She has a sister and a brother here in Brevard. Her sister, Jessica Payne, is a personal trainer. Her brother, James Stockton, owns his own landscaping and tree business. Her father lives in Oklahoma and her mother lives in California. Her daughter Kiana is a freshman at Brevard High School. Her younger daughter, Londyn, goes to day care while Morrision works two days a week in addition to attending
classes at BRCC.
Morrison works with the elderly and folks with dementia. She feels “like they have a stigma and don’t get the respect they deserve.”
She’s not sure where she will study next, but she is an enthusiastic advocate for the benefits of applying for scholarships.
As she explains it, “Nursing classes can be five days a week to start. How is someone supposed to work and go to school? [A scholarship] replaces lost income when you go to classes and can’t work. It gives people hope,” she said.
According to Morrison, Kiana wants to be a veterinarian.
“She’s good with animals,” Morrison said, “Scholarships will make this possible.”
She’d like to thank all the donors, volunteers and supporters of the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program because “without them they’re so many people who couldn’t go to school.”
Morrison concluded by saying, “You learn more when you experience more. Education unlocks the world.”