Scotlandville Magnet High School Graduate
Baton Rouge Community College, Associate of Arts, Louisiana Transfer, Social Sciences
Louisiana State University, Bachelor of Science i, Psychology
Louisiana State University, Master of Arts, Social Work
Keondra always knew she wanted to work in the helping professions, but despite her strong academic performance in high school, she struggled with standardized testing and did not achieve the scores she needed to start college at LSU.
Discouraged and disappointed as she watched her friends move to the university, she struggled with doubt. Fortunately, not one to give up, she decided to attend Baton Rouge Community College. Looking back, Keondra now understands that the community college was the perfect setting for her to build a strong foundation for future academic and career success.
“I was able to get more support, form a strong mentoring network, and gain work experience that related to my interest in psychology.” These experiences opened up doors for my future success.”
Keondra gained first-hand knowledge of the helping professions while she was a student worker for the BRCC Career Center. Lisa Hibner stated, “Keondra looked for ways to engage, and when she was not doing something for one of the career events, she helped out the One Stop team. Her smile and her laugh were readily displayed, and it was clear that she wanted to make an impact by helping others.”
This commitment and her focus proved to be more valuable than high ACT scores as Keondra graduated on time and with honors from Baton Rouge Community College and transferred seamlessly into the psychology program at Louisiana State University. Armed with her career readiness skills, her strong academic foundation, and her determination; Keondra quickly gained a work study job at LSU’s Continuing Education Department and then in the School of Social Work. Understanding the importance of engagement, she also actively participated in Phi Sigma Theta, the LSU Student Activity Board, and the Psychology Club.
After graduating from LSU with her Bachelor’s degree, she entered the LSU Master of Social Work program which she completed this May of 2020. While obtaining her master’s degree, Keondra worked as a dorm parent at the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired. She also engaged in service projects through the Social Work Club, and served as the President for the National Association for Black Social Workers Club.
At this incredible milestone, being the first one in her family to earn a master’s degree; Keondra offers advice to others at BRCC. “I prayed my way through school, calling on the verse; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. There were sleepless nights, anxiety, and learning when to step away and give myself a break. My faith and family kept me going during the struggles, and I learned to practice self-care.” To succeed, be open minded, get involved, and build relationships with your professors and staff. You need others on your team to move forward.”
Keondra is using the skills she gained from her work, education and extracurricular activities to forge ahead in her career. Despite the challenges of today; she is positive, and focused on passing her LMSW exam so she can move into her chosen career field as a social worker. She just started her new job at East Mental Health Hospital. Congratulations Keondra Francis, BRCC Graduate!