Sharon High School (METCO)
Sheneita grew up in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston. Through The Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) program in Boston she was able to enroll in school outside of the city. She says, "Attending Sharon Public Schools was a major culture shock. My Hyde Park neighborhood consisted of mainly Hispanic and Black people living on meager incomes. Sharon is home to a large affluent Jewish population."
Sheneita sought Bottom Line's help after she heard about the organization from a friend. "I was always a good student and realized at an early age that my success was dependent on a college degree." With help from her Bottom Line counselor, Sheneita applied to Duke University, Barnard College, and Boston College, among others. "Bottom Line helped me stay focused and on schedule for applying to all seven of my schools. I would go to the office after school and get right to work on my essays. I had completed all my applications by December and felt great about it." After receiving decision letters and reviewing financial aid awards, she decided to attend Boston College (BC).
Sheneita immediately enjoyed her classes at BC. She declared her major in Political Science and joined the black student forum, the marching and pep bands, and a mentoring club for pre-law students. At the end of her first year, she applied to the Boston Lawyers Group to intern at a law firm during the summer. Although she was not accepted for this opportunity, Bottom Line was able to connect her to Sun Life Financial. She was hired as an International Operations Intern for their Bermuda Division.
In her sophomore year, Sheneita maintained a high GPA while continuing to play trombone in band, work at BC's African and African Diaspora Studies Department, and take six classes. She spent time working with homeless and street-involved teens at a community center in Cambridge and travelled to New Orleans during winter break to help with the relief for Katrina victims.
Sheneita was also an active member of the NAACP. "As a member of my school's chapter, I hosted a program where we invited a group of students from Hyde Park High to our campus for a tour and presentations on pertinent information for higher education. During that event I worked with students who did not know the first thing about applying to colleges. Many of them assumed college was too expensive and would not be in their futures. This experience made me realize how important programs like Bottom Line are and the individual counselors whose job it is to completely change that negative mentality."
Toward the end of her sophomore year, Sheneita applied to the Boston Lawyers Group again and was hired as a Paralegal Intern. She spent the summer conducting research for Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and even participated in a mock deposition.
During Sheneita's remaining time at BC, she participated in Delta Sigma Theta and studied abroad for a semester. "My counselor Sarah helped me when I ran short on time to complete my FAFSA and had to leave to study abroad in South Africa. She stayed in contact with my mother even while I was away, and they finished up my FAFSA. I'll never forget that."
Upon graduating this past spring, she decided to postpone applying to law school to gain some additional job experience. Sheneita applied to work at Bottom Line and was hired as a college counselor. "Because I know how beneficial one-on-one help was for me with the college application process, financial aid, and even resume boosting, I will be able to provide that same one-on-one attention to students in whatever situation they need me as a counselor... I am so excited to be on the other side now."