Horton to Present Paper at McNair Conference

March 12, 2012 at 8:58 am

Jasmine C. Horton, a senior secondary education and English major at the University of South Carolina Upstate, has been invited to present her paper, “Dig In!: The Impact of Parental Involvement on At-Risk Youth and Academic Outcomes,” at the 13th Annual McNair Scholars and Undergraduate Research National Research Conference March 15-18 in College Park, Md.

A participant in the prestigious South Carolina Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program this past summer, Horton received third place at the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Conference with her presentation on parental involvement of at-risk youth and their academic achievement which was created from her research conducted during that six-week program. This success helped pave the way for an invitation to participate at the national conference.

Named in honor of the late laser physicist and Challenger space shuttle astronaut Dr. Ronald E. McNair, the program was established to help create greater opportunities for first-generation, under-represented and non-traditional college students to pursue graduate degrees.

Horton says she is “thrilled to have this opportunity” and is looking forward to sharing the results of her research and the overall topic with a national audience of peers and other scholars.

“I would like for the audience to be able to see the benefits of parents being involved in their child’s education,” said Horton. “Lack of parental involvement is one of the top reasons students do not excel in school.”

“It has been a distinct privilege and honor to work with Jasmine on her McNair project,” said Dr. Jennifer Parker, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at USC Upstate. “She is passionate about optimizing the educational experience for children through parental involvement and has the ability to make a real difference in the lives of children.”

Following graduation in May 2012, Horton is planning to attend graduate school to study youth development leadership. In addition to being a full-time student, she is also in the process of starting a non-profit organization for girls ages 5-17 called Broken But Healed to help educate participants about self-esteem, etiquette, relationships and other issues young girls face. It will also include a component for parental involvement that focuses on raising awareness about why it’s important for them to take part in their child’s education.

“Jasmine is a perfect example of excellence in education. In every interaction that I have had with her, she has impressed me with her ideas and ability to develop them into a strong project,” Dr. Parker added. “She is a wonderful representative of the university and the student body.”