High school and first-year college students face many challenges. Understanding deadlines, scholarship applications, FAFSA information, and other parts of the process can sometimes leave new or prospective college students feeling overwhelmed.
To facilitate a smooth transition, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education selects College Process Ambassadors to guide others in their journey to higher education. The students are high school seniors, expecting to graduate by the end of the academic year with postsecondary educational plans.
The Ambassadors highlight college application and success resources to support the upcoming class of high school graduates and college students. They actively assist others via community outreach and they also participate in and promote events related to College Application Month, College Goal SC, and College Decision Month.
They also create and share social media content on SCCanGo platforms, which encourage students, families, and communities to apply and get ready for college.
Ambassadors obtain up to $1,000 in scholarship funds, personalized support and feedback from CHE, and professional training on how to support other students during the college application journey.
To learn more, contact Dr. Gerrick Hampton, the Associate Director in the Office of Student Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shawn Ropp, West-Oak High School
Shawn Ropp is 17 years old and a Senior at West-Oak High School. Living in Westminster, South Carolina, he participates in many leadership roles such as Student Body President, President and founder of the Drama Club, and Leader of the school A Capella group. His most notable accomplishments for his school have been being selected and participating in the ACDA National Honor Choir in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as representing his school as an ambassador in the Oconee County School District Principal's meetings throughout the year. Throughout his days in school, Shawn leads and helps create the social media content for his student government Instagram page as well as announcing and commentating in pep rallies. Outside of school, he has participated in community theatrical productions across the upstate for the last six years, with his most recent production being Beauty and the Beast Jr. at the Clemson Little Theatre in Pendleton, S.C. Shawn plans to attend a four-year higher education institution in the fall of 2024 to pursue a bachelor's degree in music education. He aspires to receive his doctorate afterward and lead, teach, and direct honor choirs himself in the future as a career, as well as teach at a university. He hopes that through his creative and imaginative social media posts as a College Process Ambassador, he can make a positive impact in any way on the rising generation. Growing up being an older brother to his six younger sisters, he has learned to believe that everyone in their life should have a role model to look up to and he plans to do the best of his ability to be that person for anyone who needs it.
Madison Samuel, Cane Bay High School
Hi! My name is Madison Samuel, and I am a Cane Bay High School senior. I’ve lived in South Carolina my entire life. Throughout my high school career, I have worked to inspire and uplift my values. Over four years, I had the opportunity to become involved with several extracurriculars. I am a part of Student Council, Cobra Chorale, Black Student Union, Renaissance, Beta Club, National Honors Society, and Mu Alpha Theta. During basketball season, I manage the basketball cheer team. I strive to spread positivity amongst the student body because everyone deserves acceptance. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family, baking, and listening to music. One trait I would describe myself as is passionate. I enjoy giving back to the community and helping my school become a better place. After high school, I plan to attend a four-year college to major in Biochemistry. I aspire to continue in the medical field to help patients by becoming an OB-GYN. I am very thankful for the opportunity to become a College Process Ambassador and I can’t wait to help students across the state accomplish their academic goals.
Madison Morant, Ridge View High School
My name is Madison “Maddi” Morant, and I am a senior at Ridge View High School! Throughout my high school career, I have participated in numerous clubs and organizations including the National Honor Society, BETA Club, Blazer Ambassadors, Teacher Cadet, the Teacher Cadet National Honor Society, the Bayar Fellowship, Pink Tourmaline Christian Sorority, and Ridge View’s bowling team. During my free time, I enjoy dancing, writing, bowling, and spending time with my friends and family. After high school, I plan to major in Elementary Education at a four-year university and eventually own my own school!
Laila Price, Richland Northeast High School
Hey! My Name is Laila Price; I’m a senior at Richland Northeast High School in Columbia. I am currently the Student Body President; in which I prioritize the voices of our student body.
Outside of being a student I personally enjoy spending time with loved ones, traveling, and participating in community events.
After high school, I intend to attend a 4-year university to major in Business Administration and minor in Public Relations. With the hopes of obtaining a field in which I can help others and continue to serve my community.
Allie Dickerson, Crescent High School
Hey! My name is Allie Dickerson, and I’m a senior at Crescent High School. I love being involved in my school and community, and I am an avid volunteer within my church throughout the children’s organizations. I currently hold the title of student body vice president at my school, where I help plan and organize various events as well as run the social media for the Student Government Association. I am also an active member of my school’s Beta Club, FCA, Photography Club, National Art Honors Society, girl’s golf team, and track and field team. Aside from extracurricular activities, I work part time as a housecleaner and babysitter, and am a caterer for a local restaurant. Being so involved has shaped me into the person I am today and has given me opportunities to explore so many different possibilities after high school. Currently, I plan on attending a four-year university and studying graphic communications or digital media. I’m so excited to be a part of this program and hope to help students across South Carolina with the high school to college transition!
Pagelyn Smalls, Charleston County School of the Arts
Hi! My name is Pagelyn Smalls, and I am currently a Senior at Charleston County School of the Arts, where I major in orchestra.
Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, I have a love for my community and family. I currently hold multiple leadership positions which include being the president of my church’s Sister to Sister Girls Group, co-president of the School of the Arts’ Black Student Union, as well as the social media manager for the School of the Arts High School Orchestra. I have also received many accolades, which include being a state finalist for the Poetry Out Loud Competition in my freshman year of high school, earning the College Board Recognition for African American Scholars, as well as being presented with a commendation from the State of South Carolina House of Representatives, for the National College Board Scholars. I have been awarded the first runner-up for the Distinguished Young Women of Charleston County Scholarship Program, as well as being a current participant in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated Gamma Xi Omega Youth Leadership Program.
I enjoy hanging out with friends and family, crocheting, traveling, and learning about Black History. After high school, I plan on majoring in Political Science with a minor in African-American Studies.
Lily Nguyen, Hanahan High School
Hi, my name is Lily Nguyen, I’m deeply honored to serve as a College Process Ambassador, and I look forward to sharing my experience to help guide others. I am a senior at Hanahan High School. I was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina most of my life. I have one older brother who attends the University of South Carolina-Columbia who is majoring in computer sciences. As for myself, I am an active member in extracurriculars at my school such as International Club, HOSA, and holding the positions of secretary of Renaissance Club and vice president of National Honor Society. I enjoy volunteering and helping fundraise for events and organizations. I also served as a Junior Marshal for the senior class of 2023. I used to play varsity tennis at my school for two years, however I do enjoy playing pickle ball and going to the gym in my free time. After high school, I plan to attend Trident Technical College to pursue my passion for dental hygiene. While in college, I plan to earn my associate’s and allied health sciences degrees.
Abby Nance, Clemson University
Hi! My name is Abby Nance and I’m from Bluffton, South Carolina. This will be my second year working as a College Process Ambassador with the CHE. I am currently a freshman at Clemson University. I am a biology major and plan to either get a minor in French or horticulture. I also plan to attend medical school after undergrad. I am so excited to continue to work with this incredible program this year. My goals for this year are to focus on the transition into college, since it can be challenging for many incoming students. I also want to focus on the importance of involvement in college. I am looking forward to another great year as a College Process Ambassador!
Nikara Johnson, Clemson University
Hello, my name is Nikara Johnson. I am a first-year student at Clemson University and a Criminal Justice major. I am excited to embark on this new journey as a College Process Ambassador. I’m looking forward to educating readers and my peers on college life and how to prepare for the new journey ahead. As a college student, I am still gaining my bearings and learning how to leave an imprint and impact my campus. My goal as a College Process Ambassador is to inform others about the college world so that once it begins, the change won’t be overwhelming. A life lesson I have taken to college is, “Mistakes do not define you; instead, it is your response to the mistake that does. Thus, make an effort to fall ahead and never backward." If you keep this thought process in mind, you will succeed.
Emalee Mann, Clemson University Honors College
My name is Emalee Mann, and I am from Abbeville, South Carolina. I am currently a freshman at Clemson University Honors College studying bioengineering. Engineers and doctors combine leadership, critical thinking skills, and analysis to solve problems and help people; therefore, I am motivated to gain the skills that will enable me to make a positive impact on my community. I was very involved in extracurricular activities throughout high school and have loved the opportunities to participate in various clubs here at Clemson. I am currently part of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention (PEER), Call Me Doctor ESTEEMED Scholars Program, Medlife, Society of Women Engineers, Residence Hall Association (Governor of Honors Residential College), Rotaract, Friday Morning Swim Club, Delight Ministries, Baptist Collegiate Ministries, Intramural Volleyball, and Alpha Omega Epsilon. Some of my hobbies include playing the piano, singing, watching documentaries, baking, and listening to music. In my free time, I love to spend time with friends and family and meet new people. I consider myself a hardworking, caring, creative, and passionate person. These qualities have helped me be successful in all areas of my life. Helping others has always been important to me, and that is why I am so thankful and excited to continue this program! My first year as an ambassador was a wonderful experience, so I am excited to continue making connections with students from across the state during the college process. I know how stressful the college application and decision process can be, but I hope to provide helpful advice!
Ayanna Marshall, University of South Carolina
Greetings! My name is Ayanna Marshall, and I am honored to serve as a second year College Process Ambassador. I am a current freshman at the University of South Carolina. I am a Tourism Management major and public relations minor. Within my school community, I am a member of many clubs including Women in Business Council, Student Government, Minorities in Hospitality, Restaurant and Lodging Club, Carolina Sales Institution, and InterVarsity. Currently, I work for a marketing firm, and I collaborate with several nonprofits to help grow their marketing plan. Outside of my extracurricular activities, I enjoy baking, shopping, and traveling. After college, my plan is to work in the marketing department for a tourism agency. I love helping others, especially when it comes to helping them achieve their dreams. With this opportunity as a College Process Ambassador, I am ready to help students across the state achieve their goals through education!
Junior College Process Ambassador
Ta'Mera Brown, Mullins High School
Hi! My name is Ta’Mera Brown and I am a junior at Mullins High School as well as a dual enrollment student at Florence Darlington Technical College. I am also the president of the South Carolina Career Association. My passions include helping others, preparing for my future, and being an active member of my community. In my free time, I enjoy playing volleyball, tutoring my peers, and spending time with my friends and family. Aside from this, my extracurricular activities include Beta Club, National Honor Society, math competitions, volunteering at McLeod Health as well at Pick42, and Mock Trial. I also work part-time at a local fast-food restaurant. Once I complete high school, I would like to attend a 4-year college where I will major in Recreational Therapy and a minor in Child Development so that I can one day become a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. Above all, I am excited about working with other students and guiding them in their journey to success.