COVID-19 updates & ways VSAC can help
Destiny-Rose Chery: Immersing herself in life sciences
Saying Destiny-Rose Chery is busy would be an understatement.
The current senior at Danville High School has a lot on her plate. From applying to colleges to working 20 hours a week as a grocer to following her love of art, Destiny is focused.
In conversation, she doesn’t draw attention to how trying it is to balance her time. One of Destiny’s teachers got to the core of who she is: a deeply driven student.
“Destiny’s growth as a student has been amazing to watch. She is such a hard worker and thoughtful student. She always challenges herself and has taken a variety of dual enrollment courses and independent studies aimed at her personal interests,” the teacher relates.
Destiny’s commitment to her professional path and love of her study of biology is undeniable.
“I can't remember a time when I didn’t want to be a biologist.” Destiny shares. “I am really Interested in biology. It’s everywhere you look. We are surrounded by it. I also love how many areas of specialization there are in biology. With a degree in biology, I could go on to focus on marine biology or microbiology,” she adds.
Destiny’s interest in biology and desire for an immersive experience in her field is the driving force behind her interest in a college that offers a focus in the sciences. Part of what makes these programs unique is the opportunity for Destiny to take part in summer biology labs with a diverse community of fellow students.
“They have hands-on learning, and each summer you do a field-work internship in your field of study for the whole summer. I really love lab studies. Getting to do hands-on projects is of huge interest to me,” she relates.
Being challenged and exposed to a cohort of diverse students is a clear priority for Destiny.
“I’m looking forward to meeting new people that are different from me. Getting to be in a different environment is very exciting,” she says.
COVID-19 complicated Destiny’s plans for learning more about her schools of interest. With campus tours shut down, Destiny relied on VSAC to help set up virtual tours of the schools she was interested in.
“Not getting to see the schools was hard for me. Not getting to go to the places and visit the towns was challenging for sure,” she notes.
While deciding what school to attend is a big decision, attending college is something Destiny has always been committed to and worked tirelessly to make a reality.
“It’s always been a big part of my family—that we go to college and get an education and get a job. My parents didn't get the opportunity, so it’s important to them that I achieve that dream,” she stresses.
With this priority made clear to Destiny from a young age, getting a support system and someone to advise her in this journey was paramount. That’s where the GEAR UP program came into play.
“I wasn't aware of how many scholarship opportunities there were. Getting access to the VSAC scholarship booklet was really important to me,” she says. “With everything that I am working on, having assistance filling out the FAFSA and the Vermont grant application was great. I was really worried about making a mistake and VSAC’s help was huge.”
For Destiny, VSAC’s influence wasn’t purely about getting help on applications and financial aid; it was about gaining confidence and insight from her counselor.
“Having the counselors’ advice on what they went through when going to colleges has been helpful,” she shares.
One of the ways Destiny destresses is through art. Destiny’s art teacher, Abby Bartell, had kind words to share about her work.
“Destiny is an incredible artist. Her work has been featured numerous times on our classroom Instagram, and was published in the Young Writers Project magazine, Anthology 10, and frequently on their website,” the teacher says. “It has been a pleasure to have Destiny in numerous art courses, and there is no doubt in my mind that she will continue to apply her creativity to whatever awaits her beyond high school.”
With a bright future ahead and the excitement of starting a new chapter in her life, Destiny also has advice for students considering getting help from VSAC.
“If I hadn’t accessed VSAC, I wouldn't have been in the same position I am now,” Destiny relates. “I would tell students that it is a very good resource for guidance. If you don't know what you want to do and you just want to get some insight, it's a wonderful resource to access.”
Need help with pursuing your career goals and education needs? VSAC is here to help you. Serving our community is at the heart of all we do. During this ever-changing time, we remain available and committed to help you navigate all your career and education needs.
For information on college and career planning and help with financial aid, go to www.vsac.org/FAFSAfirst and check out our online workshops and events. For an update of how we can help during the COVID-19 crisis, click here. You can also give us a call at 800-642-3177, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay in touch. We’re here for you.