Name: Keira Stacks
High School: McIntosh High School (Fayette County)
College (Current or Future): Georgia College
Major/Intended Major: Biology with Chemistry Minor (Pre-Med)
Financial Aid Program: HOPE Scholarship
Keira Stacks, a junior at Georgia College (GCSU), uncovered something new to the world of science, a discovery assisted by her HOPE Scholarship.
“The HOPE Scholarship has lightened my financial burden,” said Stacks, “which allows me to focus on the most important aspect of school – learning.”
According to Connection Magazine, Stacks uncovered a new bacteriophage, a virus that infects bacteria, as part of an international research project.
The discovery was entered into the Actinobacteriophage Database, which collects information for the Pittsburg Bacteriophage Institute at the University of Pittsburg’s department of biological sciences. The project’s goal is to encourage scientific research in youth and promote the DNA sequencing and characterization of useful viruses.
This knowledge of viruses should help Stacks as she pursues a career in medicine, an endeavor the HOPE Scholarship has helped her prepare for.
“I have been able to avoid student loans throughout my undergrad experience. This has allowed me to put away more money for medical school,” Stacks said. “My educational pursuits would not be possible without HOPE.”
Stacks acknowledges Hope Huey, her counselor at McIntosh High School, for informing her early about the state scholarship.
“I had just moved to Georgia my freshman year of high school from Montgomery, Alabama. So, I had no idea what the HOPE Scholarship was until I met Ms. Huey,” said Stacks. “I remember her being very helpful when I was applying for colleges and scholarships at the time. She was an amazing counselor and did a great job explaining all the financial benefits I could receive from this scholarship.”
She advises fellow students to take full advantage of opportunities available while in college.
“Take this time to become the best version of yourself. Find something that truly inspires you and get involved,” Stacks said. “Meet new people, get to know your professors, be open to new experiences and most importantly have fun! You only go through undergrad once.”