Pushing Through Adversities


Le'Reatha Burrell

After the devastating experience of losing her two brothers in a house fire, Le’Reatha Burrell, Class of 2021, continues to push forward in life. Finding her way to Grand Valley State University, and into The Oliver Wilson Freshman Academy, provided her the opportunity to have extra assistance so that she would have even more potential to succeed while in college. “I felt like Grand Valley would give me the support that I needed to be successful,” she says.

The Oliver Wilson Freshman Academy is a comprehensive academic support program for students that works to increase retention and promote academic performance among its participants.

With valuable one-on-one support, made possible by donor funds, Le’Reatha was able to realize that majoring in education was the right fit for her. “I was able to meet with my advisor as often as I needed, which was helpful,” she says. The program has study table on Tuesday nights with tutors and writing consultants readily available to assist, which helped Le’Reatha improve her grades. “The Freshman Academy helps keep me on track. It gives me time that I need to just sit and study,” she says.

This wouldn’t be possible without generous gifts from donors. “Thank you to the donors, who have given to the Oliver Wilson Freshman Academy. It’s a very helpful program that I have benefited from,” she says.

Giving back is important for Le’Reatha, and her plans for the future reflect this, “I would like to help people who have had house fires; for families who may need extra assistance to get back on their feet,” she says.

“I want my Laker Effect to be to give back to the community in order to leave it a better place; to lead the way for others so that they know they will get back up and succeed through any adversities that they might have in life,” Le’Reatha says.




Page last modified April 10, 2018