CAA - Andrea Ramsay Judy Simpson Scholarship Winner 080114

College Admissions Assistance, LLC (CAA) Coaches enjoy shaping the lives of young people. This year the coaches were asked to nominate one graduating high school student that left an impact on them. Andrea Ramsay, of Miami, Florida, was chosen to receive the $1,500 Judy Simpson Memorial Scholarship based on her genuine character, financial need, and dedication to the CAA program.   The Judy Simpson Memorial Scholarship was created to honor one of CAA’s founding Regional Directors who had a great passion for helping students and families find success through higher education. Judy lost her battle with lung cancer on Christmas day in 2011 and is remembered by many at CAA as being a true friend who always had a positive outlook on life.   Like Judy, Andrea has a strong, positive view for her future “My grandmother is my biggest inspiration.  She is always encouraging me to reach for the stars and to not give up,” she said. Andrea will be the first in her family to attend college and says her family is extremely proud of that accomplishment.   “Being a first generation college student, it was extremely important that I complete high school and attend college,” she said. “Without CAA, this goal wouldn’t have been possible.”   On June 19th, Andrea moved to Gainesville to begin summer classes at the University of Florida (UF). She was selected to participate in their AIM program based on her high grades, community involvement, and financial need. Only 300 students participate in this program, which is designed to help students make a smooth transition into college life. “I feel this gives me a bit of an advantage over the other incoming freshman,” she said.   Once on the campus, Andrea said her first impression of the big campus made her nervous. Now with a better handle on college life, Andrea would like to participate in the MAPS (Multicultural Association of Pre-Health Students) program and hopes to study abroad in London or Italy. She said she would also like to participate in a research project at UF. This summer Andrea has had the chance to explore Gainesville and found an opportunity to give back by planting flowers at the Wilmot Garden for hospital patients to enjoy and, for a moment, forget their troubles.   Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Andrea was very involved with her community while in high school and said she chose UF based on the opportunities to stay involved. She said she learned a lot about UF from her aunt who is an alumnae but that it was CAA who helped her narrow down her choices.   “CAA helped me choose UF but it was one of my reach schools because of my test scores,” she said. “The coaches helped me with the application process and improving my chances for admission.”   Even though she misses her friends and family in Miami, she is very excited to start taking classes that are tailored to her career choice, Healthcare Administration. Andrea said she was always interested in working in the medical field, which was inspired by her father’s chronic health issues. However, Andrea said that CAA’s coaches and website tools introduced her to Healthcare Administration.   “I was bouncing around between registered nursing and psychology,” she explained. “My coach was discussing one of the career assessments and it matched me with healthcare administrator, which I had never thought of before and it’s a really good fit.”   Andrea is a bit anxious about starting classes in the fall but told CAA that she is no longer afraid to ask for help. She said that CAA is to credit for much of her success.   “The CAA Coaches always encouraged me,” she explained. “They worked with me and told me what I had to do to be more competitive. They really care and wanted me to do my very best.”   And, we still do Andrea. Congratulations!!