Center for Creative Arts college advisor Stacy Lightfoot is being recognized for her efforts to change lives by helping students further their education through the recently bestowed 2011 Counselors that Change Lives Award.
"I love the point where I'm opening up a student to a new opportunity," said Lightfoot. "I want to expose students to post-secondary options."
She was nominated for the award, which is presented by Colleges that Change Lives Inc., by Agnes Scott College associate director of admission Betsy Davis for her efforts to help CCA students receive funding to attend Agnes Scott.
Lightfoot works with CCA students to research all kinds of colleges, tour campuses and find financial aid to help make college a reality. She said her own life is an example of growing up with limited means, but still finding funding for college.
"I tell my students to give themselves options," said Lightfoot. "I talk about the economy and how companies want people with some type of degree or training. I tell them no matter their financial situation that more colleges give funding than they know."
She passes out scholarship applications and encourages students to apply. There is also opportunity for Federal Pell Grants for students from low-income homes.
"One student said her family did not have money, so we added up grants," said Lightfoot. "She was eligible for the Pell Grant, Tennessee Lottery Scholarship and the Aspire Award."
Lightfoot works part-time at CCA and part-time at the Public Education Foundation. She serves as the lead college advisor and supervisor of Hamilton County college advisors. She also serves as the director of the Passport Scholars Program that sends public school girls on a fully paid scholarship to anywhere in the United States for a summer enrichment program.
Lightfoot assisted CCA's Public Education Foundation highlight student Grovenia Perryman in receiving a free flight to Waterville, Maine, to tour Colby College. Perryman left the college visit with an offer of more than $50,000 in grants and scholarships.
"Hamilton County schools do a lot to prepare our kids for the future," said Lightfoot. "Our kids can go great places too."