Current Scholar Spotlight: Kyla Wilson

Kyla Wilson speaking to studentsKyla Wilson has put a lot of thought into her career path. “I always wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, but I hate science so that didn’t work. As for the law, I like reading, but law just bored me!”

Enter her Uncle Jesse, who provided Kyla with some inspiration.

Her uncle would tell Kyla, who was good at math, that since she was in the fourth grade, she should know her multiplication tables. “He made me work in a composition book every day over the summer.” By the end of the summer, Kyla was hooked, and she knew that arithmetic was going to play a part in her future.

Having decided that math was the subject she wanted to study, Kyla needed to narrow down what, exactly, she wanted to do with her math skills. As a senior at the Dayton Early College Academy (DECA), in Dayton, Ohio, Kyla was able to do an internship with an accounting firm. “I was intrigued by accounting, but I didn’t really understand it. There were a lot of acronyms, and I didn’t know what they were talking about!”

Once she started classes at The Ohio State University, Kyla learned more about accounting and found it to be one of the most challenging things she’s encountered in college. “I actually saw growth in myself though my major, which I like. It wasn’t something that came easily to me. And I’ve also grown as a person because of it.” Now she is majoring in accounting with a minor in information retail studies.

That Kyla is at Ohio State, studying a major that she loves, hadn’t seemed possible a few years ago. “I never really thought about going to college because we didn’t have the means unless I had some type of merit scholarship.” But in her freshman year at DECA, Kyla was recommended and accepted into the Young Scholars Program. While in the Young Scholars Program, Kyla prepared for the Ohio Graduation Test and the ACT exam. She also came to campus during Summer Academy and the Summer Bridge Experience. “It got me into the mind frame that this was what college could be like. You go back to high school and think, ‘This is going to be my life in a couple of years.’”

Kyla is giving back to YSP and to the Scholars following behind her; she is a YSP Ambassador, a Peer Leader and an Academic Success Partner, assisting other Young Scholars in their transition from high school to college and helping them to overcome hurdles similar to ones she faced.

This past summer – her last before graduating from Ohio State – Kyla interned with L-Brands during an internal audit. That internship led to a job offer. In August, degree in hand, Kyla will start working at L-Brands in the Internal Audit department. She then plans to sit for the CPA exam within the next two years, a test that consists of four sections that Kyla says will each take two to three months of studying.

Kyla is grateful for all that YSP has done for her, and the people that she has encountered are ones that she will never lose touch with: “They are like family.” What YSP has done most for Kyla, she says, was to give her a chance not to become “a statistic.” She continues, “Being here [at Ohio State] is beating the odds. Being able to be that one out of the majority and meeting the standards that you’ve set up for yourself. And knowing that others have pre-conceived standards and being able to stand up to those as well.”


Prior Spotlights

Daniel Moussa

Daniel Moussa

Daniel Moussa has long been interested in the sciences, and his background in sports has led him to focus on the “silent epidemic” of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which are often the results of sports accidents. “As someone who plays sports, I am aware of the dangers of concussions, which are a type of TBI, and their long-term effects,” Daniel stated. Read more.

Zamone Sawyer

Zamone Sawyer

Zamone Sawyer has been selected to receive an Undergraduate Student Pelotonia Fellowship, which provides one-year research fellowships to Ohio State undergraduate students who want to help cure cancer. When notified of her award, Zamone revealed, “I had to reread the message about five times because I just couldn’t believe it. After a few days, the prestige and gravity of the award sunk in, and I felt incredibly grateful and humbled.” Read more.

Michael Gundich

Michael Gundich

As a first-generation college student growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, induction into the Cleveland Young Scholars Program (YSP) opened a door to the resources that Michael Gundich needed to transition from high school to college. “Being selected as a Young Scholar meant that I had a chance in a place where the majority of the kids never graduate high school, let alone go on to attend college.” he stated. Read more.

Bryan Quijada

Bryan Quijada

Bryan Quijada, a Columbus Young Scholar and LASER Scholar, has been named as one of only 1000 Gates Millennium Scholars who will receive a good-through-graduation scholarship that covers unmet need and self-help aid and can be used at any college or university. Because the scholarship also provides graduate school funding for continuing Gates Millennium Scholars, Bryan is no longer limited to just four years of college; he can now go to graduate school if he so desires. “The Gates gives me courage and has changed who I am and where I hope to go.” Read More.

Rebecca Plumage

Rebecca Plumage

Rebecca Plumage, one of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Morrill Scholars and an enrolled member of the Assiniboine Tribe, has been named a Udall Scholar by the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation. Read more.

Michael Inman

Michael Inman

Michael Inman always had a strong connection to The Ohio State University – his mom, aunt and a cousin are all Buckeyes. Being awarded the Morrill Scholarship, Michael recalls, made him feel overjoyed: “I saw it as the universe telling me that I was meant to be a Buckeye.” Read More.

Jacyna Ortiz

Jacyna Ortiz

When Jacyna Ortiz was inducted into the Young Scholars Program (YSP) in Lorain, Ohio, the then 7th grader said she didn’t really understand the full extent of the opportunities the program was going to provide. Once she fulfilled all of the requirements, YSP would offer Jacyna a financial aid package consisting of scholarships and federal grants to cover her tuition and room and board at The Ohio State University. Read more.

Wynton Jordon

Wynton Jordon

For Wynton Jordan, the journey from a high school student to the 2014 Gene and Sheila Smith Excalibur Prize awardee began with a short letter from The Ohio State University inviting him to visit the campus. With those two days free on his calendar, Wynton headed to Columbus, and after his visit – with some advice from his dad – Wynton made the decision to attend Ohio State. Read more.

Taylor Stepp

Taylor Stepp

Even though he grew up in the small Appalachian community of Jackson, Ohio, where there were not many college graduates, Taylor Stepp always had the goal of earning a college degree. He didn’t want to receive just any degree; he wanted one from The Ohio State University which was the first school that Taylor sent an application to. Read more.

Meilaysia Carter

Meilaysia Carter

For Meilaysia Carter, the dream of becoming a college student came closer to reality when she was inducted as a sixth-grader into the Dayton Young Scholars Program (YSP) in May 2003. YSP scholars who graduate from high school and meet program requirements are eligible to receive a competitive financial aid package to The Ohio State University; when Meilaysia found out that she had been selected as a Young Scholar, she was ecstatic. Read more.


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