Success Stories

   Alana R. Simmons–Grant

2007 HRCAP Project Discovery Graduate

Alana Simmons – Grant is a realtor for Keller Williams Realty, and she is CEO of a non-profit organization called Hate Won’t Win. In June 2015. Mrs. Simmons – Grant created Hate Won’t Win in honor of her grandfather who was tragically murdered in the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

Mrs. Simmons – Grant graduated from Elizabeth City State University(ECSU) in 2012 with her Bachelor’s Degree and from Norfolk State University(NSU) with her Master’s Degree.  One aspect of her success, she gives much credit to HRCAP Project Discovery, along with Ms. Hermelinda Miller the current Program Director and Mrs. Monica LittleJohn White, the former Program Coordinator who is also a former graduate of ECSU. As the youngest person to be nominated and elected to become a member of a foundational board of Elizabeth City State University, Mrs. Simmons – Grant emphasized, “We are working tirelessly to educate students and give them scholarship money. There is a dire need in our community for more programs like HRCAP Project Discovery.  More donations are needed in order to award more students scholarship money. The cost of obtaining an education is steadily and drastically increasing, and as a community, it is important for us to give back to those students who are our future leaders. This program has helped me to be a future leader in more ways than one.”

Mrs. Alana Simmons – Grant was a 2007 HRCAP Project Discovery graduate.  While in the Project Discovery Program, Mrs. Simmons – Grant stated that one of her most valuable experiences was attending a session on financial aid.   She states, “The information provided was on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), loans, scholarships, and grants. HRCAP Project Discovery helped me to grasp the business side of college and prepared me to be one of the more fortunate students to attend college free of charge.”

Mrs. Alana Simmons – Grant said, “With the cost of a college education, a individual can end up having out of pocket expenses anywhere between $10,000 to $20,000.  Many job markets now require that applicants have a Bachelor’s or a Master’s Degree in their field of work.  HRCAP Project Discovery is one of those programs which prepares you to be educated about what higher education is before you even get into college. The program has taught me not to have mounds of debts and to not squander the opportunity to have an education.  FAFSA and being a HRCAP Project Discovery scholarship recipient are two major factors that had an impact on me achieving my educational goals”.

   Latasha Outlaw-Sheffield

  1992 HRCAP Project Discovery Graduate

Latasha Outlaw-Sheffield, a Senior Team Manager for Alorica Customer Care, Inc. directly manages from a group of 25 to up to 100 employees at a time. Mrs. Outlaw – Sheffield ensures that the group meets all quality assurance and productivity standards. She coaches staff on areas of improvements and she congratulates them for performing their best. In addition, Mrs. Outlaw – Sheffield focuses on the development and growth of new employees in order to assist them with reaching their goals.

Receiving her Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Union University (VUU), Latasha Outlaw-Sheffield fell in love with VUU during a college tour to the university with the HRCAP Project Discovery Program. “HRCAP Project Discovery played an important role for me in choosing VUU because I was able to see what they had to offer ahead of time. Since I grew up in the church, I was gravitating towards the religious realm, but accounting was my first love. I finished with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, even though I am not in that field as of right now. Project Discovery definitely prepared me for that experience as well as made the adjustment easier. I knew what to expect. I had a plan and I knew the steps needed to be successful.”

Latasha Outlaw- Sheffield is a 1992 HRCAP Project Discovery Graduate.  According to Mrs. Outlaw – Sheffield, her most memorable experiences in the program was taking a trip to Richmond to visit the General Assembly. She stated that, it was interesting to be able to see how that governing body worked.

Latasha Outlaw – Sheffield states, “ HRCAP Project Discovery is really important. A lot of times when you go to college, you don’t know what to expect, so what I got out of Project Discovery was the college experience. I was able to visit the colleges and hear the students speak on their experiences on what to expect, the challenges, etc.  Even the graduates from college talked about what they went on to do. Project Discovery really helped me to prepare and plan my college experience.”

   Luna Powell

Luna Powell, a recent graduate of Warwick High School, joined Project Discovery during her freshman year as introduced to the program by a friend. Being an introverted individual, she found herself welcomed by the Project Discovery Facilitator, Ms. H. Miller and other members of the club. She was able to learn about colleges and gain a further depth than she have known before. Ms. Powell is grateful to the Project Discovery program and its faculty because they have provided her all the necessities from food, transportation, guidance, and other things needed for the trips. The program has allowed her to attend multiple workshops and events with guest speakers, which allowed her to gain more knowledge about the schools/colleges around her. The program allowed her to interact with various people with different backgrounds and became more sociable. She found the trips to be enlightening as she explored new places and heard about colleges directly from the student’s views. She was a part of the Fashion Show Fundraiser that gained monetary donations and funding for the Project Discovery Book Scholarships. Helping with the fundraiser allowed her to build on her social skills and her working and team building skills. Ms. Powell states, “Project Discovery has changed me as a person and expanded my horizons. I am genuinely grateful to Project Discovery because, without it, I would have likely lack the essential knowledge about higher education and not be able to meet all the delightful people in the program. Project Discovery helped to become more extroverted and exposed me to new experiences that have led to who I am now.”