DionneDionne Wagner ’12, once said, “My first year [at LFLA}, they were already giving us a tour of Southeast Missouri State University and encouraging us to think about college. I don’t think I’d be at a university without Lift For Life’s encouragement.” Well, guess what? This year, Dionne graduated from SEMO, and she will be starting a position at Lift For Life Academy as an Assistant Career and College Specialist. She’ll be helping our current students navigate their way through their post-secondary plans and applications.         

During her time at Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO), Dionne worked as a Crisis Advocate at the Safe House For Women, a shelter for victims of domestic and sexual violence. Meanwhile, she was pursuing a double major in Psychology and Family Studies.

While at Lift For Life Academy, she graduated as the salutatorian of the Class of 2012. Additionally, she participated in the National Honor Society, Student Ambassadors and Wyman’s Teen Leadership Camp. She played softball, basketball, track and field, and was a member of the dance team.

“If it wasn’t for Lift For Life Academy, I probably wouldn’t have even gone to college,” said Dionne. “ I am the only member in my immediate and extended family that has attended a university, and that is because of LFLA. Since I was in middle school, LFLA has showed me how important it was to go to college. We started going on college trips in 6th grade, and I had the opportunity to visit college campuses every year. I remember how it was mandatory to apply for ten scholarships, and how we had to apply to a community college even if we didn’t want to attend, just so we could have a Plan B.”

“I was able to apply to college, fill out my FAFSA, apply for scholarships, select my classes, and decide where I was going to live on campus ALL ON MY OWN because of the help I received at LFLA,” said Dionne. “Now, I’m ready to help other Lift For Life Academy students do the same.”