Name: Kelli Caldwell-Kemp
High School: Tri-Cities High School
College (Current or Future): Mercer University
Major/Intended Major: Early Childhood Education
Financial Aid Program: HOPE Scholarship
HOPE Scholarship recipient Kelli Caldwell is a teacher at heart. After completing her bachelor's at Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia with a major in Early Childhood Education and following up with a master's degree as a Curriculum Specialist, Caldwell began teaching children at daycares funded by the Georgia Lottery Program. Caldwell’s love for educating began in earnest and she has been teaching ever since.
"I am a teacher at heart. Teaching the youth is a passion that I acquired at a very young age. I have heard countless stories from my parents about how I used to write all over the walls trying to teach my dolls how to read," said Caldwell.
"Some of my fondest childhood memories come from assisting my aunt at her daycare. I knew that I had to fulfill my dream to teach in education. I had to set clear and concise goals to make my dream a reality.”
"A major source of inspiration for furthering her knowledge and career is her older sister, Tavis Caldwell. "My older sister has always been an inspiration to me. She establishes what she wants in advance and finds ways to obtain it," said Caldwell. Kelli’s hobbies involve reading and researching different methodologies and ways to educate the youth.
This resulted in her creation of a book club she calls Beauty and Brains. The book club is about encouraging the youth to connect through their unique perspectives and learn to interact with one another in a more positive, nurturing and harmonious way.
Before college, Kelli had little to no knowledge of the HOPE program. Once enrolled in school she utilized the HOPE Scholarship for her bachelor’s degree along with assistance from her financial aid counselor who explained to her the available financial aid options.
"The support of the award has helped my family and I become less burdened by the cost of college each semester," said Caldwell. While preparing for college Caldwell advises students to set firm goals and to know what profession one wants to pursue before beginning the college experience. “Be resourceful and find out about the financial support available to you through the programs available within your state,” Caldwell said.