After applying for the award earlier this Spring, Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC graduating Little Kionnie Byrd was among the 20 national students to win! In her application, Byrd was required to describe her acadmic achievements, college and career goals and how her involvement in BBBS has impacted her.
“I am a rising star student because I always have a positive attitude,” Byrd wrote in her application, “I’ve overcome bullying and kept a focus on my goal. I became a cheerleader and helped my peers do the same.”
In addition to cheerleading, Kionnie participates in a host of extracurricular and community-based activities including track, color guard and softball. She’s even managed to get her Certified Nurse Assistance license. Her goal after attending college for four years is to become a traveling nurse.
“My Big Sister helped me become the leader that I am today,” Byrd wrote, “She taught me to lift my head up high, to stay positive and confident about myself and me goals…The things she has taught me will help me become a great nurse and a mentor to others around me.”
Last Friday, May 25, Byrd was invited to receive her award on the field before the Asheville Tourists game. She was accompanied by her mother, her grandmother and her Big Sister of 8 years, Christie Bornemann. After the presentation of the award, Kionnie threw out the first ball of the evening!
“This group of driven, hard-working students has demonstrated what it means to be a ‘Rising Star’ in their respective communities and Minor League Baseball is honored to provide this stipend as they embark on the next level of their academic careers,” said Pat O’Connor, Minor League Baseball President and CEO.
We wish Kionnie well on her journey to become a traveling nurse and during her four years at East Tennessee State University. It’s been so inspiring to see her grow and achieve her goals over the past eight years!