Graduate Jayroe gets helping hand, finds her wings

MCCer Heather Jayroe, with new laptop in hand, is ready to continue her education after receiving her associate of arts degree from the College. Jayroe was a participant in The Women’s Foundation grant Connect2MCC. Heather Jayroe always wanted to further her education. 

The first in her family to go to college, Jayroe is on her way to reaching her goal of becoming a social worker; she recently graduated from Meridian Community College with an associate of arts degree, and Jayroe began her flight to find her wings when started her studies at MCC in the Fall of 2020. 

“I'm the type of person who likes to help others," said the 44-year-old Missouri native who makes her home in Philadelphia with her husband and children. It was when her youngest got a little older that she thought she'd give college a try. "There is so much to choose from," she said when deciding on a career path. 

While at MCC, Jayroe participated in a grant from The Women's Foundation of Mississippi called Connect2MCC, which was geared to help female two-generation students. The College received the $25,000 grant for the 2022 academic year. For her part, Jayroe and others in the program checked in with their on-campus mentor, Lashundra Grady, MCC support services coordinator, once a month and did monthly online sessions covering topics including healthy relationships, financial literacy, and balancing home and school lives. 

After completing the program, Jayroe and other participants were gifted a laptop as a part of the grant. "The program helped a lot," she said, adding Grady was supportive and helpful, as were her MCC instructors. "Everyone here at MCC is nice. At the end of the day, the instructors and staff care and understand." 

Jayroe will use that laptop as she continues to study at Mississippi State University-Meridian. "I want to be an advocate for people," she said.