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FEATURED ALUMNI - SPRING 2013
Neil Parrott ‘04
Neil Parrott ’04 (Classical High School) graduated from Bryant University in 2008 with a B.S. in Business Administration. Neil’s major concentration was in marketing, and he double-minored in management and legal studies. “I chose Bryant University because I was impressed by the curriculum of the school and the community atmosphere on campus,” he says. “I greatly appreciated the different organizations that I was able to be a part of.” Neil is currently enrolled as an MBA graduate student at the University of Rhode Island. “I am focusing my education in marketing to learn new theories and to perfect marketing concepts,” he says. He plans to complete his degree by 2015.
Neil has worked in a variety of positions that required great customer development and sales skills, and is now serving as the Executive Sales Director and Ad Manager for a new business in Rhode Island called Rhode Island Hype. “I like being able to utilize the skills and education I have acquired to help in the day-to-day operations of the business,” he says.
Neil got involved in many campus activities while he was a student at Bryant. He participated in six different organizations, including a stint as Marketing/Events Director for the school’s radio station. “I firmly believe that this involvement, tied in with my education, represents what the ‘character of success’ idea at Bryant is supposed to look like,” he says. “Bryant University has helped me become a better professional, and I still have relationships with the faculty and staff. I am very grateful for being extended an acceptance to the university.”
Neil also feels strong appreciation for the College Crusade scholarship he received. “Without the College Crusade scholarship, I would have had to find a way to pay for books, housing, and other items,” he says. “The scholarship has also made me proud to be a Crusader representing the state’s bright minds and talent. My experience as a Crusader was a great part of my development. It helped me realize that obtaining a good education is possible. Working hard and having fun really allows one to become a positive individual.”
What advice does Neil have for high school Crusaders who are looking forward to starting college in the fall? “Maintain the drive and focus that you carried with you during the college application process,” he says. “Stepping up to the college level is not something that you should fear, but it is something that you should not take for granted. Appreciate the chance you have to get a college education. Keep your end goal in mind and try to have some fun in a campus organization or two. This will help balance out your overall character and help you decide what you will love to do upon graduation.”
In his free time, Neil enjoys watching movies and producing music. He is actively working with different local artists on music projects with the goal of having his work nationally recognized.
Lesly Porras ’04
Lesly Porras ’04 (Mount Pleasant High School) graduated from Providence College in 2008 with a B.A. in Elementary/Special Education and a minor in Spanish. “I chose Providence College because I was given the opportunity to be a Martin Luther King scholar, which covered my tuition for four years,” she says. “Providence College has a beautiful campus, and I knew their elementary school program would prepare me to an educator after graduation. I also choose Providence College because it was close to home and my family.”
Receiving the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship from Providence College also gave Lesly the chance to travel to Costa Rica for volunteer work. “The trip gave me the opportunity to make new friends and learn from their culture,” she says. “We were able to travel across the country, learning about education, living, health, and tourism. We were able to bond with and help the community by building a bus stop and providing inhalers to a clinic in need.”
Lesly is currently employed by Meeting Street as an educator for Early Intervention. “I work with children and families in their homes,” she says. “As an educator, I work with children under the age of three with a delay or a disability or with families who need support. I enjoy helping and supporting families as they teach their child how to learn. The best thing about my job is celebrating every small progress each child may have during the day, week, or month! I enjoy meeting new families and supporting them throughout their child's educational journey.”
Lesly very much appreciates her experience as a Crusader. “The College Crusade is a great program that supports and inspires students to go to college,” she says. “It teaches leadership skills and time management skills that are very useful in college or in your career. Offering college tours was imperative to motivate me to go to college and see that anything is possible. Having an Advisor also made a difference, since I was able to go to them when I had a question or needed support. And the College Crusade scholarship was a big help in paying off my books each semester.”
For Crusaders starting college in the fall, Lesly has this advice: “Remember that everything is possible with hard work. If you set up short-term and long-term goals throughout college, it makes it more satisfactory when you are able to accomplish them all at the end. It is also important to remember that you are as good as everyone else regardless of your socioeconomic statues, gender, race, or physical looks!”