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Lansing Student to Travel to Washington as Nominee for Prestigious Scholarship

November 17, 2014

Lansing, MICH – Le'Trece Gonzales has a few things to do before starting classes at Lansing Community College (LCC) this January. One involves being honored at a national conference for at-risk students who beat the odds.

On November 19, Gonzales will travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the National Leadership Awards Conference hosted by Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG). While there, she will participate in workshops, tour the U.S. Capitol and other sites, and take part in a special wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. She will also be considered for a prestigious college scholarship and be honored for her achievements.

"I'm so excited to be a part of this," says Gonzales. "I'm nervous, but probably most nervous about flying. I've never been on a plane before."

Gonzales will join 500 students from 31 states at the event organized by the national nonprofit dedicated to preventing dropouts among at-risk youth. The JAG coordinator at Lansing's Woodcreek Achievement Center recommended Gonzales to attend the conference and to represent Michigan for JAG's Millionth Student Engagement and Recognition Award.

"Le'Trece has come so far from where she started," says Jill Carter. "That's why I nominated her. She worked through a lot of different situations to complete school, and sees herself going on to college."

Carter says that Gonzales won her heart with her perseverance and strength. She says she was taken by the teen's fortitude to attend school full-time and also to work the nightshift in maintenance at LCC.

"Le'Trece is persistent, knows what she can do, and accepts help," says Carter. "I have a vision of her being very successful."

Gonzales grew up the youngest of five children in a single-parent household. Her last couple years, she says, were filled with emotional ups and downs related to deaths in the family, and to the serious ongoing medical issues of her sister's infant son.

"It was all so heartbreaking," says Gonzales. "It was hard for me to stay focused. There were days when I didn't want to do anything and shut the world out."

Gonzales initially dropped out of Lansing Everett but regrouped and transferred to Woodcreek. She earned her high school diploma the summer of 2014—the same year she began working at LCC.

Gonzales has her sights set on attending LCC in 2015. She's thinking she might go into counseling, maybe with kids, but hasn't quite decided.

"Right now I'm just thinking about the JAG conference and what a great and fun experience it will be," says Gonzales. "I'm just so excited to be representing Michigan, to see Washington, and to hopefully win a scholarship."

About Lansing Community College

Lansing Community College is Michigan's third largest community college with approximately 20,000 students attending each year. LCC offers courses in general education for those interested in transferring to a four-year institution, career and workforce development, developmental education and personal enrichment. To meet the professional development and training needs of regional employees, the college offers customized programs for credit, non-credit and continuing education. The University Center at LCC offers students the opportunity to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from six partner universities on the downtown LCC campus. For more information, visit lcc.edu.

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