Choosing success: Northwest student treads her own path toward graduation

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SENATOBIA, MS (03/05/2018) Lakeeler Taylor is not your average college student, and not by a long shot, as people like to say. Taylor says she "started from scratch" by beginning her college career taking developmental English, Reading and Math classes. Instead of holding her back, taking those classes only pushed her forward, and she is now a member of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society, ready to graduate from Northwest Mississippi Community College with an Associate degree in Business Administration this May.

The soft-spoken Coldwater native came to Northwest in Spring 2016 after having graduated from Coldwater High School in May 2015. Taylor admits that her ACT score was not as good as she had hoped it would be, but says she has no regrets starting out in Northwest's developmental classes. "Those classes gave me a great start. I had to sit out a semester after high school and they helped me refresh my memory and my skills," Taylor said.

Taylor feels like the classes prepared her for the classes she is taking now. "I wouldn't change it for the world. I started off with a good GPA in those classes, and I figured my GPA would go down after that, but it really didn't," Taylor said. She started out in Northwest's Office Administration program, but her adviser, Business Instructor Dr. Amy Stewart encouraged her to study Business Administration and to transfer to a four-year university. "She has gone from taking beginning classes to taking Business Calculus II this semester. She has come full circle," Stewart said.

While Taylor admits that she was a little scared, Stewart's encouragement helped her to push on. "She stays on me and pushes me. Even though I wanted to quit after Northwest, I decided that it is only two more years, and I can go on," Taylor said.

"I told her she was too smart not to do it. Look at how far she has come," Stewart said. "She has put in a lot of time and she is successful."

After Northwest, Taylor plans to transfer to the University of Mississippi- DeSoto to pursue her Bachelor of Business Administration. She then hopes to work in a company for a while before deciding on whether or not to open her own business.

If you ask her, she will tell you that she chose to go to Northwest because it was close to home. She feels like being at Northwest has helped her with self-confidence. As a PTK honor student, she is eligible for scholarships to Ole Miss. "I think I would have had trouble trying to go to the university if I had not had these scholarship opportunities. That is why I focused on my studies and why I have not worked outside of school. I think it would have been a distraction to me," Taylor said.

Taylor is the daughter of Tracy Mitchell and Anthony Taylor. She has one brother and two sisters. She was a cheerleader in junior high school and a member of the Beta Club in high school. She loves computers and chose business because she felt it was a good fit for her. One of her biggest cheerleaders is her aunt, Kimberly Taylor. "She gives me a lot of support and encourages me. She is my mentor," Taylor said.

"I just want to emphasize that the developmental classes are not a waste of time and they can help you build your skills and move forward in college to earn a degree," Taylor said. "It won't be easy, but you have the resources to get these things done," Taylor added.

For more information on Northwest, visit the college's website at

Pictured: Northwest Mississippi Community College Business Administration student Lakeeler Taylor of Coldwater, (right), is set to graduate with honors this May. Taylor started her college career in developmental classes two years ago. Congratulating Taylor is her adviser and instructor, Dr. Amy Stewart (left). (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)