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GSU pres. touts education value to St. John students

By Monique Roth

RESERVE — East St. John High School seniors and West St. John High School juniors and seniors heard about the value of continuing their education once they complete high school and the power of a college degree when Dr. Cynthia Warrick, Grambling State University interim president, visited the two schools Friday.

“In all my years in education, we’ve never had a university president visit a high school,”

St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools Superintendent Kevin George said, adding students were very receptive to Warrick’s message.

Warrick took the opportunity to impart to students the importance of planning for their futures, as well as talk about scholarships and share opportunities available at GSU.

“Grambling is very important to me,” Warrick said. “It’s done so much for me professionally and personally, but a lot of kids out here don’t know about it. I wanted to create an awareness that there are other schools and other options.”

Bernetta Ambres, a district speech therapist and Grambling alumnus, arranged Warrick’s visits with the high school students, George said.

Warrick told students planning financially for higher education should already be a priority for them, and encouraged the students to apply for every scholarship for which they are eligible.

“College is expensive,” Warrick said. “You need to think of all of those things that lower your costs for that bachelor’s degree because, more than likely, you want to get a graduate degree or a professional degree so you need to have lower debt. More and more, you are going to need an advanced degree to be successful and compete.”

She also reminded students it is vital to concentrate on academics once in college to keep their financial aid.

George said student feedback was positive following Warrick’s visit, and several students who were not considering furthering their education beyond high school expressed interest in doing so following the talk.

West St. John High School Principal Erica Merrick said it was an honor and privilege to have Warrick visit the school, and the Grambling Alumni Edgard Chapter presented Warrick with a $1,000 check during her visit to St. John Parish to support scholarships at GSU.

Warrick spoke to Grambling alumni Thursday night and attended a luncheon hosted by St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom Friday after the school visits.