With UNCG Guarantee, Tyshea Lewis comes full circle
For Tyshea Lewis ’13, ’16 MEd, coming from a small town to the UNCG campus – or any campus – was intimidating. But in the UNCG Guarantee Scholars program, she found community and opportunity as a student. Now, she is leading the program, giving back to current UNCG students and helping them find that same community.
“I had a connection to 34 other students that preceded being a part of the larger Spartan community,” she says, which aided her transition to campus. Further, she credits the program with challenging her “to think about my passions, my goals, who I was as an individual, and who I wanted to be after my college experience.”
Lewis had several leadership opportunities in the program which helped her grow and understand her strengths and weaknesses. But she knew from her freshman year that she wanted to work with UNCG Guarantee to help create not only access, but also all-around success for students.
When Tyshea was offered a job at UNCG Guarantee, she took it, coming on part-time after her graduation. She started graduate school the next year and became a graduate assistant in the program, then interim director when the previous director took another job. Directing the same program that gave her a sense of home at UNCG, she is now inspired by the students and graduates who are also giving back by “sharing their experiences in their career fields, financial advice, providing internships and shadowing, critiquing resumes.”
And it’s working: by undertaking leadership challenges, financial literacy training, intercultural training, professional development, and of course, participating in the Guarantee community, UNCG Guarantee students have a 20% higher success rate in retention and graduation than the UNCG average. For Lewis, it’s all a part of UNCG’s mission to achieve holistic student success.
By Colin Cutler ’16 MA
Photography by Martin W. Kane