Three CHS grads return to encourage students to pursue college

by Oct 30, 2012COMMUNITY sgadugi, Front Page0 comments

Cherokee High School had some very special guests on Friday, Oct. 19.  Alisha Long, Meshay Long, and Kayla Smith, CHS graduates and EBCI tribal members, are all students currently attending the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  As part of the high school’s initiative to encourage and increase postsecondary education among CHS rising and graduating seniors, these ladies stopped in during lunch to talk to the students about their experiences at the university and answer questions about the application process and enrollment requirements.

UNC – Chapel Hill students and former CHS graduates Kayla Smith, Alisha Long and Meshay Long met with students at Cherokee High School on Friday, Oct. 19 to encourage them to pursue higher education. (CCS Photo)

Alisha Long is a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill majoring in education.  Kayla Smith is a sophomore majoring in sports administration.  Meshay Long is a freshman, and she is still exploring her options in choosing a major.  She has expressed interest in pre-med, psychology, and nursing.

As volunteers, these ladies decided to come back to their old high school as part of a recruitment program at UNC.  They answered questions about FASFA (financial aid paperwork), gave advice on applying to colleges, and discussed some of the benefits interested students would have at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The Native American Center on the university campus was a large topic of discussion among the students.  They also discussed a program at UNC, in which these ladies are involved, called “Tarheel Target,” which deals with diversity and multicultural affairs.

They encouraged CHS juniors to check out another program offered by the university called “Project Uplift.”  It can be located online at; just search “Project Uplift” on the university’s site.  Up to 15 students can be nominated by Deb Lambert, CHS guidance counselor, to have the benefit of getting an all-expenses-paid glimpse of the college experience.  The program is designed for “high-achieving rising seniors.”  The selected students can spend “two days visiting classes, meeting with faculty and staff, interacting with Carolina students, and participating in cultural and social activities.”

When asked what advice you would give a CHS senior, the ladies responded, “Apply anywhere at any time, and always meet your deadlines.”

If any seniors are interested in attending UNC-Chapel Hill for the 2013-14 school year, the application deadline is Jan. 5, 2013.  If you have any questions about applying, please contact these ladies at the following e-mail addresses:  Meshay Long, Alisha Long, and Kayla smith

“Cherokee High School students and administration would like to extend a special thank you to these ladies for coming to talk to the students and providing useful insight and information about the college experience,” said CHS officials.  “They walk the Sacred Path with our students by exhibiting leadership, generosity, inspiration, and empowering our students.  Don’t wait parents and CHS seniors.  Come in and see your guidance counselors today and get the ball rolling on the application process.  Cherokee High School and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill welcome your questions and will be there to help you navigate the application and financial aid process.  Success is found through education.  Encourage a CHS junior or senior today!”

– Cherokee Central Schools