Niagara Gazette — “I feel like I’m setting a milestone for my younger sisters, letting them know they can do it, too,” she said. “My mother always wanted me to go to college. Honestly, I think she’s grateful I’m setting a good example for them.”
The Coca-Cola money isn’t the only way her academic success has granted her access to schools like Columbia, as well as Duke and Cornell which she ultimately turned down. Columbia, it turns out, will provide Leslie-Skye essentially a full ride through school thanks to a small program designed to provide less-advantaged students with a head start. She’s also received a top scholarship through the Gates Millenium Scholar program.
She has grand designs of using the education she’s about to receive to join the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in hopes of bringing science and discovery back into the public sphere, which was recently scaled back due to budget cuts.
Eventually, she said she’s coming back home. She said beyond the pressure she feels from her family and from herself, there’s an overarching need from the community to be here and help right a ship which to many appears to be sinking.
“This is about more than just my family to me,” she said. “It’s about the community here as a whole. I do plan on coming back and I would like to help restore this city.”Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251, or follow on Twitter @timchipp.