Jayden Pointer and Katelyn Gatewood, two teens who recently graduated from Horn Lake High School in Horn Lake, Mississippi, are off to Tennessee State University thanks to the help of their chorus teacher, Holly Beck.
Upon learning that Pointer and Gatewood were interested in continuing their education but had not yet committed to a school, Beck took the matter into her own hands and began exploring scholarship opportunities.
Through her search, Beck wound up connecting with Dr. Angelica Dunsavage, the head of Tennessee State University’s choral program.
The two began speaking of scholarship opportunities, and upon learning that there were available funds, Beck sent Dunsavage a recording of Pointer and Gatewood.
This recording led Dunsavage to offer choral scholarships to both students.
“She has several students from Memphis, but this is her first group coming from DeSoto County,” Beck said, according to DeSoto County News.
In response to the good news, Pointer said she was excited because the scholarship gave her the opportunity to both continue her music career and attend a historically Black college and university (HBCU).
“I weighed my options, but I knew I wanted to attend an HBCU,” Pointer said, according to DeSoto County News. “This is a win-win, and that makes it very exciting.”
“They didn’t have to [offer these scholarships to us],” Gatewood added, according to DeSoto County News.
“I’m grateful,” she continued. “My momma wanted me to go to an HBCU.”
Notably, this marks the first time in Horn Lake High School history that students have received scholarships to an HBCU choral program.
While at the Nashville, Tennessee HBCU, Pointer will study nursing. As for Gatewood, she’ll pursue a health sciences degree to become a physical therapist.
Shoutout to Holly Beck for helping these teens secure their scholarships to Tennessee State University, and good luck to Jayden Pointer and Katelyn Gatewood in their educational pursuits.